DAVENPORT, Iowa — Eastern Iowa business leaders are pushing to retain a tax credit that they say has been essential in restoring key downtown buildings.

Henry Marquard, the director of government affairs for the Quad-Cities Chamber of Commerce, told the Quad-City Times that the tax credit has provided more than $400 million to the downtown Davenport area.

Congress plans to end the program as part of larger tax changes. Legislators expect eliminating the credit will increase federal revenue by $9.3 billion from 2018 to 2027.

“(The tax credit) has largely been the reason we’ve been able to do millions of dollars (worth) of renovation in the downtown,” said Kyle Carter, executive director of the Downtown Davenport Partnership. “This is a critically important program and one we want to see put back in.”

There are more buildings in the area that could be renovated using the credits, said Davenport Alderman Marion Meginnis.

Area developers said eliminating the credits would slow growth in many cities.

“It’s crazy,” developer Amy Gill said of the elimination. “Studies back up the fact that these tax credits work. They provide jobs and renovate downtowns. How do you argue with that? You’re paying money out, but you’re getting money back.”

The tax credits helped Gill’s company, Restoration St. Louis, renovate the Hotel Blackhawk, the Forrest Block, the Renwick Building and City Square.

The chamber is sending letters to lawmakers urging them to keep the tax credit. The chamber is also asking its members to contact congressional offices to show their support for the credit, which was enacted in 1981.


Information from: Quad-City Times, http://www.qctimes.com