Social & Education Policy

EZ Money: Assessing Iowa’s Enterprise Zone Program

Gordon, C.


Iowa’s Enterprise Zone Program identifies counties and cities in economic distress, and offers a range of tax breaks to firms that meet thresholds of new investment and new employment in those areas. The program, according to its legislative intent, is designed “to promote new economic development in economically distressed areas by encouraging communities to target resources in ways that attract productive private investment.” This report assesses those basic claims. Does the program attract new economic development? Does it effectively target that development in distressed areas or communities? And, to the degree that it accomplishes these goals, does it do so at a reasonable cost?