Indiana city proposes tying arts donations to business tax breaks

Officials in Indiana's second-largest city have drafted a proposal that would require businesses getting government tax breaks to contribute to a public arts fund.

The ordinance proposed by Fort Wayne's mayor and two city council members would require businesses applying for tax increment financing to contribute an amount equal to 1 percent of that incentive, or up to $100,000.

City Councilmen Tom Freistroffer said integrating public art throughout the city of about 250,000 residents would help "appeal to professionals who want to live in a vibrant and interesting community." He said public art is essential to economic growth.

The proposal would establish a public arts program and a Public Art Commission, the Journal Gazette reported.

The proposal will be introduced Tuesday and discussed March 20.

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