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Legislators working on bills to address child care shortage

DES MOINES — A House committee has voted to create two new state tax incentives for expanding child care in Iowa, but backers admit both bills are not in final form.

Representative Phil Thompson of Jefferson says the first would establish a new state tax credit for property developers.

“An incentive for developers to construct new child care facilities or rehabilitate spaces to provide new child care facilities,” Thompson says.

The other bill would offer state tax breaks to business owners that promise to expand on-site day care centers for their employees or build new ones. State economic development officials have asked for more guidelines for how businesses would qualify.

Representative Lindsay James of Dubuque says these two bills are a start.

“Child care affordability, accessibility is a significant issue across our state,” she says, “and I am really grateful for this conversations to make sure that…we’re not throwing spaghetti at a wall to see what sticks, but that we’ve got a really comprehensive plan.”

Other bills on the topic are pending. One that’s eligible for House debate would increase the number of Iowa parents who are eligible to claim a state income tax credit for child care expenses.

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