The largest capital investment project Iowa has ever seen was finalized Wednesday. Governor Branstad announced the selection of a site in Wever for a $1.4 billion project that will create 165 permanent jobs and more than 2,000 construction related jobs.
The new plant will belong to Iowa Fertilizer Company, a subsidiary of Orascom Construction Industries, one of the world’s largest fertilizer producers. The Lee County plant would supply ammonia and other nitrogen fertilizers to farmers in Iowa and the Midwest.
Branstad believes this project is a positive step for Iowa, saying, “It also will level the playing field for our existing Iowa companies, allowing them to grow and create even more jobs.”
To successfully bring this project to the state, Iowa had to offer better incentives than our neighbors in Illinois.
The Iowa Economic Development Authority Board made an offer to the Iowa Fertilizer Company earlier this year, but unforeseen issues with the original site and offers from other states caused the board to rework that offer.
Wednesday the IEDA Board passed an amendment that included an increase to the investment tax credit portion of the High Quality Jobs award, increasing the total tax credits to $57.5 million. The direct financial assistance award remains unchanged from the original offer at $1.6 million (half loan, half forgivable loan).
Branstad used the opportunity to call on lawmakers to turn their focus to income tax reform during the next legislative session. He felt Iowa had to offer the above incentives in order to overcome the current corporate income tax structure.