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Posts Tagged ‘Orascom fertilizer plant’

Branstad Throws $21 Million At Egyptian Fertilizer Company While Telling Iowa Schools to F*** Off

Branstad Funds Orascom Instead of Schools

DES MOINES — The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) today approved an additional $21.5 million in tax incentives for the Iowa Fertilizer Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Orascom Construction Industries. The total granted to Orascom by IEDA is now nearly $110 million, and today’s decision comes just days after the Iowa legislature adjourned a contentious session where revenue shortfalls played a role in every budgetary decision.

In July of 2014, Public Policy Polling released a survey showing widespread opposition to granting another set of tax incentives for Orascom. 55% of registered voters in Iowa were opposed, and just 22% were in favor.

In response to today’s decision by IEDA, Progress Iowa executive director Matt Sinovic issued the following statement:

“Today’s decision by the Branstad administration to grant Orascom another $21.5 million is shameful. How can the Governor tell teachers or state employees that we have the money for an Egyptian fertilizer company, but not for our schools or other programs we value? The Governor’s priorities are misguided and out of step with everyday Iowans.”

“Orascom has taken advantage of every giveaway from the Branstad administration, fired more than 1,100 workers, and then had the audacity to come back and ask for more. Unfortunately, IEDA never knows when to stand up for Iowa values and say enough is enough.”

“Every budget decision shows what our state values. Our legislature and Governor chose not to adequately fund education this year. The Governor ignored the legislature and chose to shut down half of our state’s mental health facilities. But somehow, some way, this Egyptian fertilizer company keeps receiving millions of dollars from a state that supposedly can’t afford much of anything else.”

“Today’s decision demonstrates that our Governor and legislature don’t value our schools, state workers, or those in need of mental health care as much as they value a foreign corporation with a poor track record.”

Progress Iowa is a multi-issue progressive advocacy organization with a network of more than 60,000 progressives. Year-round, Progress Iowa advocates for a stronger middle class, first-class public education, and fairness for all Iowans under the law.

Contact: Matt Sinovic, (515) 423-0530



Public Policy Polling Survey: Strong Opposition to Orascom Deal in Iowa

Iowa Fertilizer Company gets another tax incentive award

Iowa fertilizer plant seeks additional $21.5 million

Thanks, Branstad – Iowans Get Burned In Worst Economic Deal Ever

Iowa State Capitol

Iowa State Capitol

“With the fertilizer plant roughly half finished, half of the 3,000 workers have been fired, through no fault of their own.

Rather than find a way to re-hire those skilled, union workers, the company plans to bus in non-union replacement workers from Texas to finish the job.

Most of the fired workers are Iowans. These Iowans helped pay for these jobs on the front end by providing the tax incentives Governor Branstad handed over to Orascom in the worst economic development deal ever.”


ORASCOM #3: Iowa Can’t Lose, Then Gives Fertilizer Plant $250 Million Because Why?

We are proud and grateful to be represented by Joe Bolkcom in the Iowa Senate.

What’s Up With Branstad And The Orascom Deal?

Bolkcom: “Was the competition from Illinois real or was it simply a fabrication?

Democrats Make Better Job Creators

Iowa Row Crops

The contrast between Democratic and Republican approaches to the government’s role in job creation could not be clearer than with the Branstad administration’s recently announced deal with the Egyptian corporation Orascom. The company plans to build a fertilizer plant in Lee County. Touted as a “win-win,” the project will result in a $1.4 billion construction project and 165 permanent jobs, according to news sources.

The deal appears to be predicated on cheap natural gas, proximity to fertilizer users, and a package of tax incentives that according to Peter Fisher of the Iowa Policy Project, “amount to more than $650,000 for each permanent job.” CF Industries, Inc., Dow Chemical and Royal Dutch Shell are reported to be mulling similar projects, so Iowa is participating in a broader economic trend related to the explosion of natural gas supply in the United States due to hydraulic fracturing, and its intersection with agriculture.

The Orascom deal is done, it creates jobs, and it occurred on the Republican watch. However, is a tax incentive to a foreign corporation the best way to create Iowa jobs? Democrats have a different answer, one that favors Iowa businesses, and small businesses particularly.

Recently, the Solon City Council approved a $125,000 package of forgivable loans to a local company planning to open a restaurant and microbrewery on Main Street. One can debate how many jobs this will create, but management, a cook, a brew master, wait and kitchen staff, maintenance and accounting functions will all be part of the business. Perhaps five or six jobs and parts of others after the construction is finished and the business opens. For the money spent on each Orascom job, five or six small businesses could receive such a loan, multiplying the job creation many times per dollar spent over the Republican deal.

If one cares about job creation, supporting Main Street is more sensible than giving tax breaks to large, multinational corporations. There is the partisan difference, Democrats support Iowa businesses on Main Street, Republicans support tax breaks to large corporations.

Democrats support a strong Iowa economy by supporting a reduction in commercial property taxes for every Iowa business, focused on Main Street in small towns. We also support giving Iowans first bidding rights on government contracts, and buying American and Iowa made products where cost competitive. We support financial incentives for small businesses like the one in Solon.

This approach would do more for the Iowa economy than providing tax incentives to foreign corporations for a business relying on the economics of the questionable practice of hydraulic fracturing.

The Orascom fertilizer plant deal shows once again that while Republicans favor large corporations, Democrats favor doing business in Iowa with Iowans. It points out that Democrats make the better job creators.