Bring local workers into job projects

December 13, 2014

There are many things about representing Indianapolis that make me proud. However, we are still using limited tax dollars to incentivize out-of-state contractors to hire out-of-state workers to build right here in Indianapolis.

Take for example the most recent decisions to give tax abatements to Lowe’s for building a customer call center. Yes, it is great for Hoosiers that Lowe’s plans to employ approximately 1,000 people. And yes, I support tax incentives for luring jobs.

However, Lowe’s will save $506,000 in city tax abatements and $5.5 million in conditional state tax credits. The company is also receiving $100,000 in training grants. That’s over $6 million in incentives this large corporation is receiving from Hoosier taxpayers.

Yet, when I visited the construction site, I found that the contractor in charge is from North Carolina. I also noticed workers from North Carolina, South Carolina, Kansas and Georgia. Even the security team is from North Carolina, despite there being a local security business just down the street. These are opportunities missed for our construction workers.

In this time of fragile economic recovery, tax incentives to large corporations should go to provide jobs to Hoosiers—at every stage of the process. After all, Hoosiers agree to go without services these taxes could fund (more police, improved parks) with the understanding it’s to improve jobs for them and their neighbors.

Jose M. Evans, District 1 councilor, City-County Council

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