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Bill to make IEDC more transparent moves to full senate

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The Indiana Senate Tax and Fiscal Policy Committee unanimously passed legislation Tuesday meant to makes the state’s job-creation efforts more transparent to the general public.

Senate Bill 162, which now moves to the full Senate for consideration, would increase the amount of information made public when the Indiana Economic Development Corp. gives tax breaks and other incentives to companies to move to or expand in Indiana.

“It’s the public’s right to know how their tax dollars are being spent,” said Sen. Mike Delph, R-Carmel.

Under current law, the IEDC and the businesses that receive incentives are not required to release the records pertaining to the number of jobs created or the money handed out.

The incentives are not paid out until actual jobs are created, according to Eric Doden, the IEDC's new CEO.

The bill would require both the agency and the firms to present annual job creation and financial investment information to the public.

Delph said the committee needs to answer one key question: “When a company seeks a public tax break and, in return, tells the state they plan to invest a certain amount of dollars, or create a certain number of jobs, should they be held accountable by routine disclosure of their progress to that which they promised the state?”

But Sen. Gregory Taylor, D-Indianapolis, questioned whether the added transparency would help or hurt the IEDC’s quest to recruit new businesses. Taylor pointed out that a private company’s financial information often falls under the category of trade secrets in the state’s Open Records law for a reason. He said opening this information to the public, including competing businesses and states, could be detrimental to the IEDC’s goals.

Delph responded by saying that Illinois has some of the strongest transparency laws in the country and has still attracted more new facilities and expansions in the last three years than Indiana.

He said the goal is to tie tax dollars and job commitments to what they — the businesses — promised to do in advance.

Doden said the IEDC favors transparency and accountability but doesn’t want to do anything that puts at risk his organization’s ability to bring jobs to Indiana. He does, however, support the bill.

Indiana spends about $142 per capita on corporate subsidies, according to a recent New York Times study, but that's far less than many other states.
 

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  1. Why not take some time to do some research before traveling to that Indiana town or city, and find the ones that are no smoking either inside, or have a patio? People like yourself are just being selfish, and unnecessarily trying to take away all indoor venues that smokers can enjoy themselves at. Last time I checked, it is still a free country, and businesses do respond to market pressure and will ban smoking, if there's enough demand by customers for it(i.e. Linebacker Lounge in South Bend, and Rack and Helen's in New Haven, IN, outside of Fort Wayne). Indiana law already unnecessarily forced restaurants with a bar area to be no smoking, so why not support those restaurants that were forced to ban smoking against their will? Also, I'm always surprised at the number of bars that chose to ban smoking on their own, in non-ban parts of Indiana I'll sometimes travel into. Whiting, IN(just southeast of Chicago) has at least a few bars that went no smoking on their own accord, and despite no selfish government ban forcing those bars to make that move against their will! I'd much rather have a balance of both smoking and non-smoking bars, rather than a complete bar smoking ban that'll only force more bars to close their doors. And besides IMO, there are much worser things to worry about, than cigarette smoke inside a bar. If you feel a bar is too smoky, then simply walk out and take your business to a different bar!

  2. As other states are realizing the harm in jailing offenders of marijuana...Indiana steps backwards into the script of Reefer Madness. Well...you guys voted for your Gov...up to you to vote him out. Signed, Citizen of Florida...the next state to have medical marijuana.

  3. It's empowering for this niche community to know that they have an advocate on their side in case things go awry. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lrst9VXVKfE

  4. Apparently the settlement over Angie's List "bundling" charges hasn't stopped the practice! My membership is up for renewal, and I'm on my third email trying to get a "basic" membership rather than the "bundled" version they're trying to charge me for. Frustrating!!

  5. Well....as a vendor to both of these builders I guess I have the right to comment. Davis closed his doors with integrity.He paid me every penny he owed me. Estridge,STILL owes me thousands and thousands of dollars. The last few years of my life have been spent working 2 jobs, paying off the suppliers I used to work on Estridge jobs and just struggling to survive. Shame on you Paul...and shame on you IBJ! Maybe you should have contacted the hundreds of vendors that Paul stiffed. I'm sure your "rises from the ashes" spin on reporting would have contained true stories of real people who have struggled to find work and pay of their debts (something that Paul didn't even attempt to do).

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