Manilla’s Muhlbauer among House legislators who backs waiving business start-up fees

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March 8th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa House has overwhelmingly endorsed the idea of giving Iowa’s Secretary of State the authority to waive or reduce certain business fees during a “Start-Your-Business” month promotion. Representative Pat Grassley, a Republican from New Hartford, says it could save Iowa entrepreneurs between 50 and 100-dollars in fees that are required when filing the paperwork to incorporate a business. “It gives us an opportunity to show that the government’s not standing in the way of small businesses,” Grassley says. “And this would just be for start-ups.” When Republican Matt Schultz campaigned for the job of Secretary of State in 2010, he promised to make the office more “business-friendly” and this is one of the proposals Secretary of State Schultz asked legislators to approve this year.

Representative Mark Lofgren, a Republican from Muscatine who runs an investment firm, supported the proposal. “I work with a lot of small business owners and anything you can do to help them is great,” Lofgren said. “Eighty percent ofthe new job creation is in the small business area.” Representative Dan Muhlbauer, a Democrat from Manilla, backed the concept, too. “It’ll help promote the proper starts of new businesses,” Muhlbauer says. Representative Rick Olson, a Democrat from Des Moines, was among 17 House members who voted against the concept of waiving business fees.
“I think it’s a gimmick bill and that’s all it is,” Olsen says. “…Something tells me that a business is not going to start in the state of Iowa or move to the state of Iowa because they can save $50.”

The bill cleared the House with 71 “yes” votes, but it must win approval from a committee in the Iowa Senate by Friday of next week, or the idea’s dead for the year.

(O. Kay Henderson/Radio Iowa)