Tax credit to spur investment in Hoover Presidential Library and Museum
Iowa’s only presidential library and museum in West Branch would see a boost in its fundraising efforts under a bill moving through the Legislature.
Allan Hoover III, great grandson of President Herbert Hoover, was at the Capitol this week to speak with lawmakers about his family’s Iowa roots and urge passage of legislation that would create a special tax credit to benefit the library and museum. It’s been nearly 30 years since the library’s last renovation.
Herbert Hoover was the only U.S. President from Iowa, serving as the nation’s 31st president between 1929 and 1933.
A $20 million renovation has been planned with a completion date in 2024 to coincide with what would be President Hoover’s 150th birthday. The National Archives requires having 90 percent of the project’s cost in hand before construction can begin.
Contributors to his presidential library’s renovation would see a tax credit of up to 25 percent, for a total of up to $5 million. Individuals could claim up to $250,000 in credits.
With the news that U.S. Census figures are likely delayed this year, state policymakers and lawmakers are grappling with how to redraw the state’s political maps and still meet their own deadlines.
In addition to regular policy and budget bills, the 89th General Assembly will participate in the state’s redistricting process in 2021, where Iowa’s Legislative Services Agency (LSA) will redraw the state’s political districts (Congressional, state House, and state Senate). Statutorily, LSA can only consider a few factors, including new population numbers gathered in the Census. After receipt of the results, three of each map are separately created and offered for public hearings and to the legislative body with nearly a month in between.
Iowa law prescribes a timeline for redrawing districts. As rumor circulates and it looks more likely we won’t see Census results until September 2021, the Legislature will be up against the inflexibility of the state Constitution, which requires them to approve the maps by Sept. 1.
Without Census numbers until September, map drawing may be directly in the hands of the Iowa Supreme Court, made up of a majority of Republican appointees, without a change for the unprecedented delay. Politically, delayed districts means delayed recruiting of candidates, late decisions on retirements for sitting members, and an increased possibility of primaries.
To promote business as usual, leaders have gotten to work naming appointees to the Temporary Redistricting Advisory Commission, the group tasked with taking public input on each proposal.
- Speaker Pat Grassley appointed David Roederer, who recently retired as director of the Department of Management.
- Majority Leader Senator Jack Whitver appointed Chris Hagenow, former Republican Majority Leader of the Iowa House.
- Minority Leader Senator Zach Wahls appointed Deidre DeJear, former Democratic candidate for Iowa Secretary of State.
- Minority Leader Representative Todd Prichard appointed Ian Russel, a Bettendorf attorney.
As weeks progress in this legislative session, it is likely we will begin to hear confirmation of dates for a special session this fall and possible proposals to amend the state’s rigid timeline.