With the guidance of the CB Chamber’s Public Policy Committee, the Council Bluffs Chamber offers their recommendations for action on issues and strategic policies to foster a healthy economy for Iowa and the Council Bluffs community. These legislative priorities are respectfully presented to guide the Governor and Legislature in approaching these important issues in order to pursue a healthy economy that creates opportunities for Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie County, and all Iowans.
A More Sustainable Funding Source for Our Community Colleges: Stable and dependable funding will be required to reduce the pressure on raising student tuition.
K-12 Statewide One-Cent Sales Tax for Schools: School districts should have the option to extend bonds or acquire new bonds to fund continued improvements to school infrastructure, transportation, and technology.
Home Rule: Council Bluffs believes that local governments are in the best position to represent their constituents. Current law states local governments have home rule authority over laws that affect their communities unless the state or federal government says otherwise. City and county representatives are simply asking for the ability to self-govern.
Hotel Motel Tax: Council Bluffs believes local decision makers should be allowed to adjust the Hotel Motel Tax in the best interests of our constituents. Neighboring Omaha hotels charge a 14% hotel occupancy tax and Iowa law prohibits us from charging more than 7%.
Automated Traffic Enforcement (ATE): Red-light cameras as they are known, have proven effective at reducing personal and property damage accidents. Council Bluffs believes cities in Iowa should be allowed to employ technology that improves driver safety. Tickets issued by traffic cameras change driving habits and improve safety. We support the continued use of Red Light Cameras.
Tax on Internet Sales: The internet has fundamentally changed the retail landscape and as E-commerce continues to grow, Council Bluffs believes state and local sales taxes should be applied to these transactions.
Sports Gaming: We strongly oppose any sports gaming bills that would exclude sports betting revenue from Iowa’s current law requiring the operators to contribute three (3) percent to its nonprofit partners such as Iowa West Racing Association.
High Quality Jobs & Targeted Jobs: Iowa needs performance-based incentives to remain competitive nationally and on the regional level. These tax credits are based on job creation and capital investment and qualifying businesses must meet a minimum wage threshold of $18.94/hr to qualify. Council Bluffs is opposed to legislation that would eliminate or reduce these credits. Without these incentives attracting and growing businesses will be a challenge.
Mental Health: The General Assembly should identify sustainable funding for the development of services and supports passed in House File 2456 and address the growing substance use epidemic by funding and appropriate payment for substance use services and treatments.
Medicaid: The shift to Medicaid managed care has been a shift in the wrong direction and the state should evaluate alternative approaches to administer the program that meets shared objectives of reducing costs, improving quality and ensuring access to health care coverage for Iowa’s most vulnerable populations.
Broadband: We view rural access to broadband as a critical economic development tool.