Iowa – High Quality Jobs Program Modified

SALT Report 1538 – The Iowa State Legislature recently modified the Iowa High Quality Jobs Program requirements.  Effective May 25, 2012, tax incentives are based on the number of jobs created or retained.
All qualified business must provide full time equivalent jobs that pay 120% of the minimum wage threshold throughout the project completion period and the maintenance period; this has been reduced from 130%.  However, in certain instances the state may provide assistance to certain businesses that pay less than 120% of the minimum wage threshold if that business is located in an economically distressed area.
A “full-time equivalent” job is defined as a position where work is performed for the number of hours or days per week considered to be full-time work for the kind of service or work performed for an employer.  That is a minimum of 2080 hours of work in a calendar year, including all paid holidays, vacations, sick time, or other paid leave.
Additionally, businesses may not be in the process of reducing operations in one community while applying for assistance in another.  A project that reduces operations during the twelve months before or after an application for assistance is submitted is presumed to be reducing operations while applying for assistance under the program.
Businesses cannot relocate from one area of the state to another while applying for state or local incentives.  A project that does not create jobs or does not involve a considerable amount of new capital investment is presumed to be relocating.
Other new sections include provisions on maintaining the terms of agreement, assistance for certain programs and projects, treatment of economically distressed areas, and an entrepreneur investment awards program.
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