[r54] Building Jobs, one bill at a time (2/7/2011)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Start Date: 2/7/2011 All Day
End Date: 2/7/2011
It is no secret that Hoosiers need jobs. They are the lifeblood to our economy by bringing in much needed revenue to the state and providing the resources families need to live. However, creating jobs can be trickier.

Government's function isn't to create jobs, but rather to create a job-friendly environment in order to foster economic development. That is our intention this session with several bills that are currently making their way through the House.

These bills address some of the problems facing small business and communities with rundown, vacant buildings.

Let's start with vacant buildings. Anyone who passes through certain areas of town will see some of our empty warehouses that have, unfortunately, sat empty for too long. Those buildings are eyesores for any community, and can cause the value of surrounding property to decrease and further inhibit economic development.

House Bill 1005 would focus on incentivizing the use of those existing facilities to help revitalize hard hit communities. In order to do so, it would create an Industrial Recovery Tax Credit, also known as a Dinosaur Building tax credit, to provide incentives for companies to invest in facilities in need of significant rehabilitation. 

Next, we would be dealing with all those forms and applications you have to fill out as a new business, which can be a very overwhelming experience. If you are a small business, you probably don't have the legal knowledge that large firms do, but you are still required to register with multiple state agencies and fill out numerous forms.

HB1006 would create a one-stop shop for businesses to register and obtain necessary licenses and permits. In addition, HB 1006 would help us focus on fostering the entrepreneurial spirit at an early age to provide the necessary skills Hoosiers need to start their own businesses. We all know that it takes more than just a good idea to start your own business, so why not start the process at a young age.

Historically, Indiana has relied heavily on its manufacturing sector. However, as the global economy continues to evolve, fewer opportunities will be available for Hoosiers to go from high school into a high-paying job. We need to prepare Hoosiers today and ensure they have the strong skills in order to compete in tomorrow economy.

While the state plays an important role in attracting businesses, the majority of the incentives are provided on the local level. Therefore, we need to give locals the additional economic development tools they need to bring more business to their communities.

HB 1007 would allow individual counties the option to exempt new investment in personal property, pay hiring incentives for new employment and enhance abatement schedules to allow up to three years of 100 percent abatement, to name a few-giving the power back to the locals.

And finally, we have to continue to find new ways to foster job growth with little or no cost to the state if we want to come out ahead of the recession. HB 1008 would increase the amount of tax credits that can be available for investment in a qualified Indiana business, or QIB, from $500,000 to $1 million. Since start-up capital is a common hindrance for Hoosier business, this grant will assist with those issues.

These bills are getting the kinks worked out, just like other pieces of legislation, but I think we have a good start. If you have any ideas, please join the conversation by calling me at 1-800-382-9841 or email me at H65@in.gov.