DES MOINES—The Republican Party of Iowa held a press conference this afternoon at the Iowa State Capitol to unveil a major revelation about the questionable legislative maneuvering of state Sen. Jack Hatch, D-Des Moines, to benefit his real estate development firm.
In the 2013 legislative session, state Sen. Brad Zaun, R-Urbandale, introduced a bill to reduce the maximum amount of developer tax credits through the Iowa Finance Authority from 15 to 10 percent. Senate Democrats assigned the bill, S.F. 95, to Hatch, the flailing Democrat nominee for governor. Hatch made sure that the bill never got a hearing, much less a full debate on the Senate floor.
Sen. Jake Chapman, R-Adel, served on the Economic Growth/Rebuild Iowa subcommittee with Hatch. “I wanted this bill to at least get a hearing so Iowans could debate the appropriate level of tax credits that benefit real estate developers,” Chapman said. “Nonetheless, with real estate mogul Jack Hatch chairing the subcommittee, legislators and informed constituents found out quickly that the bill was DOA.”
Hatch has pocked just under $7.3 million in developer fees for his company’s projects. If that bill—which Hatch stashed away in a drawer—had been in effect, he could have missed out on about $2 million in taxpayer money. “Now you know why Jack Hatch keeps hiding his tax returns from Iowa journalists and voters,” said Iowa GOP chairman Jeff Kaufmann, who served for a decade as a leader in the Iowa House.
“Hatch made millions off of tax credits and developer fees during his time as a liberal Des Moines lawmaker. He needs to come clean with Iowans and release at least five years of his tax returns so people can decide for themselves whether he personally benefited from his actions—and lack of action—as a lawmaker.”
“This new information fits into a pattern: Jack Hatch has hidden the truth about his business from Iowans. He invested a pittance and then personally cashed in on developer tax credits to the tune of millions of dollars while bashing the Branstad administration for using tax credits to help Iowa business,” said Kaufmann, a seventh-generation farmer from Wilton.
“In Hatch’s case, Senate Democrats allowing him to chair a subcommittee on economic development and tax credits is like a fox guarding the hen house.”
Jan. 30, 2013
State Sen. Brad Zaun, D-Urbandale introduced S.F. 95, and Senate Democrats referred the bill to the Economic Growth/Rebuild Iowa committee, S.J. 158.
The full committee, chaired by state Sen. Steve Sodders, D-State Center, assigned the bill to a subcommittee chaired by Sen. Hatch. The committee also included Hatch took no further action on the bill. S.J. 180.