One of the Iowa legislature’s top priorities this session was addressing the “workforce issues” caused by the pandemic — namely, the childcare conundrum faced by working parents whose children are no longer in-person at school.

A new bill, approved by the Iowa House last week, would offer $3 million/year in tax credits to developers building or upgrading child care centers.

A similar bill has been approved in the Senate.

These proposals are part of a package of bills currently working their way through committees, including one that would incentivize firms to build on-site day care facilities.

Details from the Gazette:

HF 712 calls for 60 percent of the tax credits to be reserved for small communities — those outside the 11 most populous counties. If the tax credits are not claimed by May 1, the remainder of the credits available can be used by any eligible applicant.

The bill would require projects to include local matching funds to be eligible for the tax credits. That could be in the form of property tax exemptions from local governments.

In small communities, the local match must be at least $25,000 of the project cost. In larger communities, it must be at least $50,000.

The credit would be capped at 25 percent of the cost or no more than $200,000. For larger communities, the credits are capped at 10 percent of the project cost or no more than $200,000.

Applications for the tax credits will be reviewed and scored competitively by the Iowa Economic Development Authority.