Reichman says Dems out of touch in OCI deal

State Sen. says southeast Iowa will see full benefits in near future


DES MOINES – Local State Sen. Jeff Reichman responded to comments made by Iowa State Auditor Rob Sand, a Democrat, about the pending sale of the Iowa Fertilizer Co. to Koch Industries earlier this week.
Sand said there wasn’t anything political in his stance against the sale citing his role as the state’s taxpayer watchdog. But Reichman said it’s entirely political.
Koch has offered OCI Global $3.6 billion for the facility and the deal is making its way through government regulations pertaining to the sale.
OCI received more than half a billion dollars in state, local, and federal tax incentives about 10 years ago when the facility was constructed. It’s been fully operational for the past seven years. Lee County agreed to a 20-year PILOT program, (Payment In Lieu of Taxes) where the fertilizer company makes an annual payment to the county instead of being on the property tax rolls.
That agreement started with $370,000 payments for the first five years starting in 2015. It increases in five-year increments to $600,000, $1,000,000, and $1.3 million for the final five years ending in 2035. That totals $16.35 million over the 20-year agreement, or about $817,500 per year.
Sand characterized the proposed sale a “terrible thing” for Iowa and he was “up in arms” about the deal. He penned a letter to the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Attorney General's office in opposition to proposed sale.
But Reichman said Democrats have lost touch with southeast Iowa.
“Des Moines Democrats again prove they’ve lost touch with southeast Iowa. Rob Sand is so beholden to the crazy coastal liberals obsessed with Koch Industries, he had to pander to them by opposing the sale of the Fertilizer plant from OCI to Koch Industries,” Reichman said.
“In the process he showed he’s just another run-of-the-mill liberal despite his attempts to cast himself as something different. Only ivory tower liberals would object to an American company purchasing a plant from an Egyptian company. I know he’s looking for something to do since he legally cannot perform his job.”
Reichman said Dems have always opposed the fertilizer plant because they want to put government first no matter how many jobs the project created.
“It has generated massive amounts of jobs in southeast Iowa and has been a huge success. I think their opposition to the construction and permanent jobs created by the plant has contributed to them losing every legislative seat in southeast Iowa since construction started.”
Reichman said OCI has been an “amazing and generous partner” in the community and southeast Iowa “will recognize the full benefits in the near future”.
“I am personally excited about the sale and I share the excitement with Southeast Iowa Regional Planning, Greater Burlington Partnership, and Lee County Economic Development about the possibilities of expansion and investment. Koch Industries has a history of growth and investment that should be cause for excitement in southeast Iowa, not a grandstanding event for the auditor and an attempted slap in the face to southeast Iowa by Sand.”

Jeff Reichman, Rob Sand, Iowa Fertilizer, Koch Industries, OCI Global, nitrogen, fertilizer, sale, pending, news, Pen City Current, Lee County, Iowa


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here