Business Groups Push For ‘MEGA’ Program In Iowa

Des Moines, Iowa — Two Iowa business groups are asking state legislators to let foreign businesses buy vast tracts of Iowa farmland for massive facilities focused on manufacturing, biosciences, or research.

The bill would lift the 320-acre limit on foreign purchases of Iowa land — and create new tax breaks for these so-called Major Economic Growth Attraction or MEGA sites. The MEGA program is a priority for the Iowa Business Council, which represents 21 of Iowa’s largest companies. Joe Murphy is the group’s president.

Dustin Miller is executive director of the Iowa Chamber Alliance, which represents the state’s 15 largest chambers of commerce.

Miller and Murphy made their comments during a budget hearing hosted online by Governor Reynolds and she made a quick reference to the MEGA proposal.

The Iowa Senate approved a bill creating this new economic development incentive last year, on a 45-to-two vote, but it stalled in the House in the closing days of the 2023 legislative session.



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