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FERTILIZER PLANT: Senator Disagrees With Incentive

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A state senator is taking aim at tax cuts the state is offering to a new fertilizer plant going in Lee County.

Democratic Senator Joe Bolkcom says the incentives don’t make sense.

“we’d like to suggest there was no reason for Iowa to waste $250 million to convince this giant international corporation to essentially do what it was going to do anyway.”

This land near Fort Madison is the site for the $1.4-billion Orascom project.

Bolkcom says the $250-million in state incentives awarded to the project is unnecessary.  He says the plant is already in line to get $300-million in federal taxpayer subsides.

That money will come in the form of bonds created after the 2008 floods.

A spokesperson for Governor Branstad says the incentives were necessary to get Orascom to pick Iowa, not Illinois.

Tim Albrecht said, “Our tax codes is so complex, and so high, that once in a while you have to do something like this in the form of tax credits in order to lure companies.  Governor Branstad is simply not going to turn his back on southeast Iowans simply because our tax code is out of whack with that of our neighbors.”

The plant owners could break ground on the project in as early as next month.  It’s expected to create 165 new jobs.