[r63] Messmer Report: Interim Study Committee on Economic Development

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Sunday, October 21, 2012

This summer I am once again Co-Chair of the Interim Study Committee on Economic Development.  The committee is made up of legislators from the House and Senate from each party, as well as representatives from labor organizations, various business groups, education, local government and local economic development officials.

Recently, we heard testimony in our committee hearing from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) on the effectiveness of the various incentive programs they offer, how we rank in various performance measures, and areas where we are strong compared to our neighboring states and where we need to improve.  There were recommendations made by the IEDC on how we might treat sales taxes on high technology data center projects that would make Indiana more competitive with other states.  They also emphasized the need to develop better ways to attract venture capital investments into the state. 

We also took testimony from the Indiana University Public Policy institute on the various tax policies the state uses.  They discussed the impact of how tax policy changes affect state and local government funding sources and made recommendations on various sales tax and property tax policies that would make Indiana more attractive to companies looking to locate or grow their businesses in Indiana.

Finally, we heard from a company that specializes in a program around the country that helps existing companies that want to grow, and need venture capital investors using a New Markets Jobs Growth federal tax credit program.  The program can be set up with similar state income tax credits, and has shown dramatic effectiveness in the 11 states that have adopted the policy.  A separate study by the Ball State Center for Business and Economic Research in February 2012 confirms the benefits to states that have adopted the New Markets tax credit program.  This program also fills one of the recommendations made by the IEDC in improving Indiana’s access to venture capital investors.

We will continue to meet this fall and discuss educational programs and their effect on economic development.  I will report on that committee hearing later this fall. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me by phone at 317-232-9671 or by email at h63@in.gov.