Economic Development

New FBI facility: tough case to crack: Government struggling to find site to build field office for bureauRestricted Content

February 20, 2006
Tammy Lieber
The highly-sought-after job of developing a new building for the FBI's Indianapolis field office is still in play, but it's hampered by the federal government's inability to find a site for the building. A bevy of local and national developers are expected to throw their hats in the ring to develop the building, which the Government Services Agency says needs to be 110,000 square feet. For the winner, it would be a high-profile project and one of the more significant...
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Industrial park land sends towns into annexation battle: Avon, Plainfield both want 882-acre distribution siteRestricted Content

February 20, 2006
Scott Olson
A valuable piece of Hendricks County property slated for a mammoth warehouse and industrial park is pitting the neighboring towns of Avon and Plainfield against each other. The two municipalities once were cooperating to annex the 882 acres together and share the tax dollars generated by the $700 million investment that could attract 6,000 jobs. They stopped negotiating last fall and now are employing separate tactics to claim the unincorporated land. Locally based Browning Investments Inc. wants to build CentraLogistics...
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VIEWPOINT: State's STIF-necked response shortsightedRestricted Content

February 20, 2006
Ernie Reno
Chances are, most of you have never heard of the acronym "STIF." The four letters stand for sales tax increment financing. Indiana has created so-called STIF districts around the state to stimulate economic development, or so we thought. STIF districts work simply: They allow a portion of sales taxes generated at new retail projects to be redirected to pay the cost of public improvements related to the projects, things like curbs and sidewalks, streets, sewers, other utilities, drainage and landscaping....
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Want-ad battle brewing: Newspapers feel threatened by state's deal with MonsterRestricted Content

February 13, 2006
Anthony Schoettle
A four-year, $2.8 million deal between the DWD and McLean, Va.-based Monster Government Solutions to develop and maintain an online job search and recruitment system is coming under heavy fire, with newspaper operators saying a system funded by their own tax dollars will harm their business. DWD officials said the deal is designed to lower unemployment and boost Indiana's economy. "We think this deal is going to result in a brain gain, keeping people employed and keeping our college graduates...
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Roll the cameras: State cranks up efforts to court film industry under new task forceRestricted Content

February 13, 2006
Scott Olson
North Carolina offers a 15-percent tax credit to filmmakers to help offset production costs. The credit recently helped sway a national retailer to shoot an in-store commercial there instead of in Indiana. While the $600,000 production hardly compares to a multimillion-dollar motion picture, losing it was a big deal for local companies that didn't get the work. Holli Hanley of Grand Illusion Lighting Inc. in Zionsville, which rents lighting equipment to production companies, lamented the loss. "Everyone in the entire...
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BRIAN WILLIAMS Commentary: Health care is hurting Indiana's economyRestricted Content

February 13, 2006
Nearly 875,000 Hoosiers lack health insurance, including 165,350 children. Lack of health insurance takes a devastating toll on Hoosiers and the state's economic health, and the effect of the uninsured will only get worse as their numbers grow. As companies confront rising health care costs, the obvious solution is dropping or scaling back health-insurance benefits. As a result, the number of uninsured increases, resulting in a premium cost shift to the insured and increased cost for government-provided health care. Over...
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Home construction spreads growing pains into country: Shelbyville, county struggle with housing growth planRestricted Content

February 6, 2006
Tom Murphy
Developers grabbed 286 permits to construct single-family residential units in 2005, up from 204 the year before, according to the Builders Association of Greater Indianapolis. Shelbyville Mayor Scott Furgeson, whose city captured most of that growth, said his municipality issued only about 30 permits a year before 2004. "It's unbelievable," he said. "I think people finally realize that Shelbyville is, I guess, reachable from anywhere." A congestion-light commute to Indianapolis, acres of developable land and some tweaked building laws all...
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IPOs take minor dip in 2005: Analysts stay optimistic; 3 Indiana companies set to go public in early '06Restricted Content

January 30, 2006
Scott Olson
Three Indiana companies took the plunge to go public last year, two less than the number that did so in 2004. The state's slight dip in initial public offerings mirrors the slump in activity nationally. But Indiana appears to be off to a fast start for 2006. Three other Hoosier companies filed to go public late last year, but had yet to complete their IPOs by year's end. Overall, the number of companies that went public on the major U.S....
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IPOs take minor dip in 2005: Analysts stay optimistic; 3 Indiana companies set to go public in early '06Restricted Content

January 23, 2006
Scott Olson
Three Indiana companies took the plunge to go public last year, two less than the number that did so in 2004. The state's slight dip in initial public offerings mirrors the slump in activity nationally. But Indiana appears to be off to a fast start for 2006. Three other Hoosier companies filed to go public late last year, but had yet to complete their IPOs by year's end. Overall, the number of companies that went public on the major U.S....
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Biz-incentive plan may be beefed up: Legislators seek to strengthen EDGE program by doubling retention tax credit to $10 millionRestricted Content

January 16, 2006
Peter Schnitzler
Indiana's showcase business incentive program is about to go through another tweaking. At the request of the Indiana Economic Development Corp., legislators are considering changing the EDGE tax credit program to give it more teeth to retain existing jobs. Since 1994, Indiana has used the Economic Development for a Growing Economy, or EDGE credit, to spur private-sector job growth. The program allows budding companies to abate state payroll taxes for new employees. Over the last 12 years, Indiana has authorized...
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Celadon says inland port would be economic boon to state: Putting customs clearing here would speed crossingsRestricted Content

January 16, 2006
Chris O\'malley
Celadon Trucking plans by the end of April to install global positioning satellite devices on 1,350 of its trailers, an application of technology that could pave the way for an inland cargo port in central Indiana. Tom Glaser, president of one of the largest trucking lines hauling goods between the United States, Mexico and Canada, plans to urge state economic development officials to build a multimodal port in Indiana that would include Mexican and Canadian customs-clearing facilities. Officials would inspect,...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: The new economic reality: It's all about the work forceRestricted Content

January 16, 2006
Patrick Barkey
Since these words usually find their way out onto the Internet, I thought I'd work in the following phrase to get the hit counters for the new year off to a good start: Evolution vs. intelligent design. Ah, that should do it. I can hear the sounds of computer mouse clicks already. And, believe it or not, there's an economic angle to that debate. Not literally, of course. Economics is pretty important, but I will concede that the creation of...
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EYE ON THE PIE: Indiana turning toward Houdini plansRestricted Content

January 16, 2006
Morton Marcus
"What should the Indiana General Assembly do during this session?" The question came from Ralph Write, a newly minted reporter. "I'm glad you asked," I replied. "Simple solutions from simple people would be simply spectacular. But the issues are complex and I don't know if the legislators have the information they need to decide intelligently any of the major questions before them. "For example," I expounded, as Ralph took more notes than were warranted by my remarks, "there is the...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: We want to spur economy, but what's the best way?Restricted Content

January 9, 2006
Patrick Barkey
If you want to get an idea just how hot the topic of economic development is in Indiana these days, take a stroll over to the Department of Insurance's Web page. Instead of finding notices of regulatory proceedings or a lineby-line listing of the insurance code, you'll get a spirited, enthusiastic rundown of all of the reasons Indiana is a great state in which to locate your insurance company. If you happen to own one, that is. That's a little...
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Legislators fight over green rules: Biz lobby: Indiana standards should not exceed EPA'sRestricted Content

January 9, 2006
Peter Schnitzler
Business interests and environmentalists are squaring off in the Indiana General Assembly. It's unlikely they'll see eye-to-eye anytime soon on this year's ripest green issue: whether to hold Indiana to a higher environmental standard than the rest of the nation. In one corner, the Indiana Chamber of Commerce is leading a push for legislation to bind the state to environmental rules "no more stringent than" those of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Framing the debate around economic development, the Chamber...
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STATEHOUSE DISPATCH: Passing 'Major Moves' initiative will mean major workRestricted Content

January 9, 2006
Ed Feigenbaum
While most Hoosiers are focused on just how legislators are going to be able to cut residential property taxes again this year, the real battle to watch will be the one over what Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels refers to as the jobs program of a generation or more-his "Major Moves" roads initiative. What he wants boils down to this: finding a funding source for road building and repair that will not rely upon taxes. He made it clear shortly after...
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Indianapolis and neighbors need one vision, one voice:Restricted Content

January 2, 2006
Roland Dorson
Cincinnati USA. Charlotte USA. Indianapolis - Marion County - Indiana. Who is throwing the right welcome mat out to the world? In the first two examples, those regions have said to the entire planet: "We are open for business. Come talented people-bring your companies and organizations to our area; bring your families to our schools; live, work and play in our thriving community." Our region," they say, "located at this juncture of latitude and longitude in the USA, wants you...
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Education, work force key hurdles to new economy:Restricted Content

January 2, 2006
Mark Miles
Having recently returned to Indiana after a 15-year absence, I see a region filled with both challenges and opportunities. The Central Indiana Corporate Partnership, the organization I've returned to serve as president and CEO, is focused on long-term economic prosperity for our region. To this end, our people are our most valuable resource. Unfortunately, central Indiana faces a significant challenge in making our human capital match our goal of a knowledgebased, 21st-century economy. Indiana ranks 46th in the educational attainment...
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STATEHOUSE DISPATCH: Short legislative session may be eventful, for a changeRestricted Content

January 2, 2006
Ed Feigenbaum
We've all become lulled into assuming that the so-called "short" session of the Indiana General Assembly in the even-numbered years is the political equivalent of the practice of medicine: First, do no harm. In election years, lawmakers are reluctant to do much beyond that which they must do to protect public health, safety and treasury. The short session originated as a vehicle for handling emergencies arising between the odd-numbered-year budget sessions, and many legislators-particularly those seeking re-election-didn't see much cause...
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2006: Making Indianapolis a family affair:Restricted Content

January 2, 2006
Isaac Randolph
What's the most pressing issue facing Indianapolis now and in the future? Depending on a pundit's passion, answers can range from maintaining a professional sports team to supporting the cultural and arts community, from improving the quality of public schools and parks to making affordable housing available, from low taxes to a state-of-the art public mass transit system. Yet each of these areas, while they may reflect an interest group's unwavering and at times irrational fixation, taken at face value...
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Hoosiers set to observe daylight-saving time in 2006:Restricted Content

December 26, 2005
-Scott Olson
Indiana lawmakers beat the clock during the waning minutes of the legislative session to narrowly adopt daylight-saving time. The DST bill passed the House by one vote, and only after failing to obtain a constitutional majority the first time it was voted upon. Gov. Mitch Daniels, a Republican who included the divisive issue in his campaign, intervened to muster more support. House Speaker Brian Bosma held the voting board open for several minutes during the second vote until Rep. Troy...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS Patrick Barkey: Multiplying economic gains isn't easy as it may soundRestricted Content

December 26, 2005
It's an old, but primal, oath that doctors are supposed to take before they set out into the world of medicine: "Do no harm" to the patients they serve. Perhaps a few of us in the economics profession should do the same. Because some of our ideas-or more accurately, characterizations of our ideas-may be doing more harm than good. Of course, it's great to see ideas that come out of your own specialized area of expertise find their way into...
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Small biz preparing wish list: Lobbyists hope to repeat past legislative successRestricted Content

December 26, 2005
Matthew Kish
But that doesn't mean the organization and its 16,000 Hoosier members will rest on their laurels for the short legislative session in 2006. The group will bring a full wish list to the Statehouse in January, lobbying against increased property taxes and health insurance mandates. It'll also petition lawmakers to restrict eminent domain seizures. Still, observers don't think the organization will have as much cause for uncorking the bubbly as it did last year. No different than last session, businessfriendly...
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New governor brings business mentality to state government:Restricted Content

December 26, 2005
-Peter Schnitzler
As he took office in January, Gov. Mitch Daniels' first order of business was just that: Apply a business mind-set to state government. That meant efforts to improve the efficiency and cooperation of state agen- Envisioned by Republicans as a publicprivate partnership, IEDC swallowed and replaced more than half a dozen boards and agencies such as the Indiana Depart cies. It also meant key changes to economic development. The creation of the Indiana Economic Development Corp. was one of his...
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Web site stirs controversy: Watchdogs pan Insurance Department's pro-business stanceRestricted Content

December 26, 2005
Tom Murphy
Consumer watchdogs are howling over a revamped state Insurance Department Web site that pitches Indiana's "positive regulatory climate" and other business-friendly attributes. The site's new look debuted a few weeks ago and aims to make companies think about moving to Indiana, Insurance Commissioner Jim Atterholt said. But critics say a regulator should never play the role of recruiter, and the approach sends the wrong message to consumers seeking help. "It raises some questions-you know, who's your first master?" said Julia...
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  1. Aaron is my fav!

  2. Let's see... $25M construction cost, they get $7.5M back from federal taxpayers, they're exempt from business property tax and use tax so that's about $2.5M PER YEAR they don't have to pay, permitting fees are cut in half for such projects, IPL will give them $4K under an incentive program, and under IPL's VFIT they'll be selling the power to IPL at 20 cents / kwh, nearly triple what a gas plant gets, about $6M / year for the 150-acre combined farms, and all of which is passed on to IPL customers. No jobs will be created either other than an handful of installers for a few weeks. Now here's the fun part...the panels (from CHINA) only cost about $5M on Alibaba, so where's the rest of the $25M going? Are they marking up the price to drive up the federal rebate? Indy Airport Solar Partners II LLC is owned by local firms Johnson-Melloh Solutions and Telemon Corp. They'll gross $6M / year in triple-rate power revenue, get another $12M next year from taxpayers for this new farm, on top of the $12M they got from taxpayers this year for the first farm, and have only laid out about $10-12M in materials plus installation labor for both farms combined, and $500K / year in annual land lease for both farms (est.). Over 15 years, that's over $70M net profit on a $12M investment, all from our wallets. What a boondoggle. It's time to wise up and give Thorium Energy your serious consideration. See http://energyfromthorium.com to learn more.

  3. Markus, I don't think a $2 Billion dollar surplus qualifies as saying we are out of money. Privatization does work. The government should only do what private industry can't or won't. What is proven is that any time the government tries to do something it costs more, comes in late and usually is lower quality.

  4. Some of the licenses that were added during Daniels' administration, such as requiring waiter/waitresses to be licensed to serve alcohol, are simply a way to generate revenue. At $35/server every 3 years, the state is generating millions of dollars on the backs of people who really need/want to work.

  5. I always giggle when I read comments from people complaining that a market is "too saturated" with one thing or another. What does that even mean? If someone is able to open and sustain a new business, whether you think there is room enough for them or not, more power to them. Personally, I love visiting as many of the new local breweries as possible. You do realize that most of these establishments include a dining component and therefore are pretty similar to restaurants, right? When was the last time I heard someone say "You know, I think we have too many locally owned restaurants"? Um, never...

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