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State

Travelers spent about $7.2B in Iowa last year

DES MOINES (AP) — A new report says travelers spent about $7.2 billion in Iowa last year, an increase of 10.3 percent over 2010.

Cedar Rapids television station KCRG reports that the state Economic Development Authority’s tourism office says travelers increased their spending on auto transportation, lodging, food service and general retail activity.

The report says travel-related employment increased 2.2 percent last year, to 63,400 jobs in Iowa.

The report also says people traveling in and to Iowa generated an estimated $372.6 million in federal tax revenue, $328.8 million in state tax revenue and $101.4 million in local tax revenue.

Economic Development Authority Director Debi Durham says travelers are perfect taxpayers because “they come to our communities for a short time and leave billions of dollars behind.”

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