Culver in Cedar Falls; tax experts in Des Moines

Governor Chet Culver will be making his first public appearance of the week in Cedar Falls.  Tomorrow at 10 o’clock Culver will attend the grand opening of a Target distribution center in Cedar Falls. 

There’s been a “dry goods” Target distribution center in Cedar Falls since 2003 and 475 people are employed there.  This new, $100 million Target facility will serve as the hub for food that’s sold at Target stores in the Midwest — be it fresh produce, refrigerated food or frozen food.  A news release from the governor’s office indicates “more than 100” people will be employed at this new facility, located on a street named “Technology Parkway” in Cedar Falls.  (Maybe Technology Parkway is near the Information Superhighway?)

Back at the ranch, so to speak, the “Revenue Estimating Conference will meet at the statehouse at one o’clock tomorrow.  This is the “big meeting,” as the three-member panel of financial experts will set the official estimate (or guess) of state tax collections for the current fiscal year (which started July 1) and the next fiscal year (which starts July 1, 2010). 

The Revenue Estimating Conference decision on the current fiscal year will help determine how big Governor Culver’s across-the-board cut will be (he’s expected to make that decision soon after this meeting).  The decision on the next fiscal year will serve as a guide for legislators who begin crafting next year’s state budget in late winter/early spring.  But legislators are (sort of) bound by the estimate of Fiscal Year 2011 state tax collections which is established at the R.E.C. meeting in December, not by this one.

The three members of the Revenue Estimating Conference are Legislative Services Agency director Holly Lyons; David Underwood, the former chief financial officer of a Mason City company who recently retired; and Dick Oshlo, director of the Iowa Department of Management/Governor Culver’s budget director.   

The governor’s representative on the panel had been Charlie Krogmeier, Culver’s former chief of staff who now serves as director of the Iowa Department of Human Services. 

The R.E.C.’s last meeting, on March 20, was rather dramatic.

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.