Business growth and tax incentives are top priority for GCVC&A - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Business growth and tax incentives are top priority for GCVC&A

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -- Lawmakers have a lot on their minds as they begin the 2011 Legislative Session, and it's one man's job to make sure what's important to the Cedar Valley is important to folks in Des Moines.

"Working as the Director of Government Relations, I'm really the lobbyist for the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance and Chamber," said Steve Firman.

Firman spends one day a week moving from committee to committee, laying out the Alliance's top priorities.

"We do spend a lot of time making sure when we do select an issue, we're going to work on one that we should be working on," he noted.

This year, they're focusing on expanding Tech Work's operation.

Another goal is to bring more "green" companies to the Cedar Valley.

"We're aware of two or three who would like to locate right here in the Cedar Valley. But they can go to five other states and get wonderful tax incentives that help them as a start-up business," he told KWWL.

Speaking of taxes, their third priority sounds a lot like a promise made Friday by Governor Terry Branstad.

"The job creators will be rewarded and they are welcome here. And its about time our tax system reflect that fact," Branstad said in his inaugural speech.

"Our tax rates are viewed to be high, because of various parts of the system that just have increased taxes in Iowa that other states don't have," Firman explained.

It may sound like a short list, but when lawmakers have so much to deal with, it's important to focus and hope all the work in Des Moines pays off at home.

"I enjoy knowing that I'm trying to do something that makes our home here in the Cedar Valley a better place to be, our home here in Iowa a better place to be," Firman added.

Online Reporter Colleen O'Shaughnessy

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