Community leaders from across Indiana urge state lawmakers to fully fund the Indiana Regional Cities Initiative at $84 million, after funding for the initiative was reduced to just $10 million a year in the state budget proposed last month by the Indiana House of Representatives.
“The biggest threat today to Indiana’s continued economic growth is population stagnation,” said Eric Doden, president of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. “In response, communities across the state are taking the torch and embracing regional collaboration as the key to transformative economic growth. With the Indiana Regional Cities Initiative as motivation, they’re already making plans to develop their regions into places nationally recognized as top places to live and work. If this momentum is to continue, it’s crucial that the Indiana General Assembly fully funds the Indiana Regional Cities Initiative.”
As proposed by Governor Mike Pence, the Indiana Regional Cities Initiative (HB 1403) sets the framework for neighboring communities across the state to work together to develop vision and action plans for quality of place initiatives, with plans for at least $1 billion in joint private and public investment over the next decade. In anticipation of competing for a financial partnership with the state to accelerate the execution of their development plans, multiple regions have already formed steering committees and are holding public forums with hundreds of civic and business leaders in attendance.
“The General Assembly has already heard from more than 550 people across the state why they support fully funding the Indiana Regional Cities Initiative,” said Doden. “Now it’s time for legislators to hear from all Hoosiers why they want to see this program funded, transforming their regions into economic powerhouses by becoming known across the nation as the best places to live and work.”
The Indiana Senate Appropriations Committee will hear the case for transformative regional growth on Thursday at 9 a.m. with the presentation of the Regional Cities bill (HB 1403). For more information about the initiative, visit IndianaRegionalCities.com.
Created in 2005 to replace the former Department of Commerce, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation is governed by a 12-member board chaired by Governor Mike Pence. Victor Smith serves as the Indiana Secretary of Commerce and Eric Doden is the president of the IEDC.
The IEDC oversees programs enacted by the General Assembly including tax credits, workforce training grants and public infrastructure assistance. All tax credits are performance-based. Therefore, companies must first invest in Indiana through job creation or capital investment before incentives are paid. A company who does not meet its full projections only receives a percentage of the incentives proportional to its actual investment. For more information about IEDC, visit www.iedc.in.gov.
Source: Indiana Economic Development Corp.; Inside INdiana Business