[r85] Pond Report: Taking Economic Development to the Next Level (12/1/2011)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Start Date: 12/1/2011 All Day
End Date: 12/1/2011

According to Site Selection magazine, Indiana ranks sixth for its business climate. How great it is to hear such promising statistics like this, but the reality is there is still an abundance of work that needs to be done. Indiana needs to continue focusing on ways to create an environment that can foster job growth and bring more jobs to Hoosiers.

Improving Indiana’s pro-jobs climate by cutting government red-tape, encouraging entrepreneurship among Hoosier students and providing additional economic development tools that offer flexibility to local governments to attract businesses were some of the many items we were able to accomplish last session.

Even with all of these great advancements, there are still improvements that need to be made and addressed this upcoming legislative session. It’s true, Indiana ranks as one of the best business environment states in the Midwest but it is important to find ways to expand our reach even further. We must work to find initiatives that make Indiana a leading business destination for our entire country, not just the Midwest.

Maintaining a predictable tax and fiscal environment is one of many important ways we can attract employers to Indiana. This past session, we passed a balanced state budget without raising taxes to ensure that Indiana continues to live within our means, just like many Hoosier families are doing.

Increasing and improving upon our state’s competitiveness is crucial to boosting our economy and bringing more jobs to our state. Indiana has taken several steps such as providing property tax relief by cutting property taxes by 1/3 and establishing a constitutional cap on tax rates for all classes of property.

These advances have allowed Indiana to be ranked first in the Midwest and tenth nationally in the Tax Foundation’s 2011 Business Tax Climate Index. Last session, we worked to reduce Indiana’s corporate income tax from 8.5 percent to 6.5 percent. The tax will continue to be reduced by 0.5 percent per year over the next four years.

It is vital to keep finding initiatives that will make Indiana a leading destination for businesses in the entire country- not just the Midwest. I am looking forward to developing new ways that continue to let our state shine, not only as an example for the Midwest but the entire country.

It is promising to look at all that has been done in recent years and to think of the developments that can be made in the near future. I am eager to start session and find innovative ways to bring more jobs to our state, put more Hoosiers back to work and expand upon our business environment. With the right legislation, I know we can take economic development in Indiana to the next level.