Unlike a typical Iowa metro area, Sioux City’s metro sprawls across three states, making the Siouxland economy unique, dynamic and tremendously competitive.
Businesses exploring expansion in Sioux City have the choice between three separate sets of business regulations and tax structures of Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota. When final location decisions are made, it often comes down to these factors and the economic incentives on the table.
Iowa has weathered the recession with an impressive period of economic recovery and growth. With a national unemployment rate that has been high for over five years, Iowa’s unemployment rate of around five percent is well below the national average – that’s something we should all be thankful for.
Iowans have a right to be proud of our state’s economic success. After all, we have a committed workforce, a strong educational system, diverse industry and superior agricultural output. Without this strong economic foundation, our state would not have been able to weather the recession as well as it has. To continue this growth, we have to stay competitive within the national marketplace. This starts with growing our existing industries and introducing new businesses into our economic landscape.
Sioux City is an extremely competitive market as a result of its close proximity to Nebraska and South Dakota, a state without corporate income tax. In an area like this, tax credits and incentives are crucial for businesses deciding whether to settle in Iowa or a neighboring state. By utilizing these tools, state policymakers help the Iowa economy grow and expand.
It is important to acknowledge this “how” and “why” of the economic growth we enjoy. Smart planning at the hands of policymakers and incentives for expansion and development have provided Iowa with the luxuries of economic stability and a steady stream of job opportunities.
Last year alone, incentives and tax credits helped create and preserve hundreds of jobs in Siouxland. These jobs touched an array of crucial industries – from health care to technology and communications to construction. It’s true, Iowa’s workforce is dedicated and highly educated and our economy is robust, but the type of business growth we seek – especially in the ultra-competitive Siouxland area – is amplified by the use of state incentives.
Attracting new business to Iowa will have a positive impact at the state, community and family levels for so many Iowans. For this reason, we should continue to facilitate economic growth and avoid unnecessary limitations of our state’s ability to attract and retain business in Iowa.
For the record, our company has not received any direct tax incentives, but such incentives have benefited us indirectly as they have helped to keep existing jobs and bring new jobs into the local economy.
John W. Gleeson is president of Klinger Companies, Inc. in Sioux City.