Articles

EYE ON THE PIE: County income taxes need simplification

How is anyone supposed to understand the tax maze created by our beloved General Assembly? For example, we have three local option income taxes. The revenue is collected by the state and sent back to the county where the taxpayer resides. These taxes enable counties to lower property taxes, pay for needed local services and lift themselves through the miracles of economic-development efforts. The idea is wonderful, but who can understand these taxes? First, there is CAGIT (the county adjusted…

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Special Report: MURKY MISSION: Vague directive dilutes 21st Century Fund’s high-tech impact

When directors of Indiana’s 21st Century Research and Technology Fund convened in May 2003, they’d already doled out $70 million in state grants over three years to fund h i g h – t e c h innovation a n d w e r e preparing to u n l e a s h another $60 million. But you wouldn’t know it after reading minutes from that meeting. They show a rollicking debate broke out over the 21st Century’s Fund’s…

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CHRIS KATTERJOHN Commentary: Legislature has big responsibility

CHRIS KATTERJOHN Commentary Legislature has big responsibility We stand on the threshold of greatness. Wait; let me say that again. “We stand on the threshold of greatness.” Now, say it to yourself, making sure to insert a pregnant pause after the word “stand” and imagining you hear it in the booming radio voice of FDR. It’s one of those platitudes that could’ve been contrived by a speechwriter for any number of inaugural addresses, including those of Franklin D. Roosevelt, John…

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European firm plants local roots in patient technology: Company to start Indianapolis operation after test

A British company has picked Methodist Hospital and Indianapolis as the birthing ground for a new way to monitor patients using technology inspired by jet engines. Oxford BioSignals Ltd. hopes to roll out its BioSign technology by the end of this year, but the Rolls-Royce partner won’t leave the city after testing ends. The company also plans to start business operations here, much to the delight of those nurturing the life sciences industry. BioSignals will begin testing its BioSign product…

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New La Plaza says adios to independent NFP operations: Three groups uniting to serve Hispanic community

It took several years and a couple of gentle nudges in the direction of progress, but a streamlined support system for local Latinos is finally taking shape. Three Indianapolis not-for-profit agencies are giving up their own identities-and autonomy-to populate La Plaza Inc., an organization that aims to position itself as the place for the burgeoning Hispanic community to look for help. “When you have three or four groups working with minimal budgets and overlapping services, it can get confusing,” said…

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STATEHOUSE DISPATCH: Telecom regulation takes center stage at Statehouse

While this session will, necessarily and constitutionally, be all about the budget, you can expect a few interesting stops during the long journey to that point. Even as the House Ways and Means Committee was hearing last week from assorted state agencies about their respective budget needs, other lawmakers were hearing from Hoosiers more interested in altering state policy than what the state’s fiscal bottom line might be. And just like the governor will be distracted this week-as he should…

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Advocacy office leader will keep job with state: Daniels administration retains Kernan appointee, who took new position in July

Amid all the resignations and terminations in state government recently, at least one holdover appointed by the previous administration is remaining on the job. And small-business advocates could not be more pleased. David Dorff, whom former Gov. Joe Kernan tabbed in July to lead the state’s new Office of Small Business Advocacy, received word from Gov. Mitch Daniels in early January that he would remain on staff. Kernan unveiled the agency last summer as part of a series of initiatives…

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STATEHOUSE DISPATCH: Boards and commissions moratorium prompts concern

Expect House Bill 1188, authored by Rep. Rich McClain, R-Logansport, and awaiting a hearing in the new Committee on Government and Regulatory Reform, to provoke a lot of questions and controversy. In fact, the measure already has caused some panic among assorted business, professional, trade and local government interests. McClain’s measure, which should receive a favorable reception in the new panel chaired by red-tape-busting Rep. Jim Buck, R-Kokomo, would place a one-year moratorium on the operation of all-yes, all-statutorily created…

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Roche CEO search continues with no end in sight: Sudden departure of Madaus last October opened up broad search for successor

Roche Diagnostics Corp. is still searching for a CEO to lead its North American headquarters in Indianapolis, and the company has cast a wide net. Roche is searching “internally, locally, nationally and internationally” for the right executive to replace Martin D. Madaus, spokeswoman Doyia Turner said. Madaus, 45, left in October to become president and CEO of Millipore Corp. in Massachusetts, Turner said. The search is going well, she said, but the company has no time frame for completing it….

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Telecom bill would cut power of state regulators:

Legislation backed by SBC Indiana would dial down the state’s authority to regulate telecommunications in the face of new competition from wireless and cable TV providers. House Bill 1518 likely faces static from regulators and consumer interests in its call to block the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission from setting pricing and terms on basic phone service after 2007, and to strip the agency’s leverage over broadband services. As a practical matter, the IURC already lacks authority on broadband, given previous…

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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Convention centers as economic development

It was more than 50 years ago that suburban growth began to explode and central cities haven’t been the same since. Businesses have gradually followed new housing and population growth out to the fringes of one urban area after another over the decades, to the detriment of many a downtown. The trend continues unabated and the central business districts in some large and medium-size cities have yet to recover. Their vibrant, dominant role in economic activity is just a memory,…

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Area deals reach new pinnacle: Anthem’s $22.7 billion purchase of Wellpoint heads busy year for acquisitions

In 2004, Indianapolis had plenty of both, crushing all previous local merger-andacquisition records. IBJ tracks business deals larger than $5 million involving area companies in which financial terms are available. Last year, there were 56 of them, worth a grand total of $31 billion. Anthem Inc.’s massive $22.7 billion acquisition of Wellpoint Health Networks Inc. led the pack. Before 2004, $17 billion was the most M&A activity Indianapolis had ever seen in a single year. All by itself, Anthem’s deal…

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Terminal move might spur land rush: Midfield project to free choice real estate

Overshadowed by the $974 million midfield terminal project is a potential economic development bonanza: the reuse of the existing terminal and surrounding land at Indianapolis International Airport. More than 120 acres along Interstate 465 that today hold parked cars might someday house hotels, shipping operations or even a light-rail station after the midfield terminal opens in about three years. Another 54 acres representing the terminal and its immediate surroundings will be available for aviation uses from air freight to corporate…

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Incubator shakeup puts prez under fire: Rose-Hulman Ventures in turmoil after resignations

But outside his camp, others at Rose-Hulman are calling for Midgley’s scalp. They fear the man who replaced Samuel Hulbert in July is another George Armstrong Custer. A pair of sudden resignations at nationally renowned business incubator Rose-Hulman Ventures provoked the skirmish that now threatens to become an all-out assault on Midgley’s leadership. “We cannot trust him,” said a Rose-Hulman dean who spoke on condition of anonymity. “This is by far not the only time I have felt this way,…

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Purdue, IU out to bolster their life sciences futures: Both universities invest millions in biomedical pursuits Grants help growth ‘A new kind of engineer’

Whenever Indiana and Purdue universities get together on the hardwood or the debate arena, the rivalry is intense. But as various public and private players around the state put on a full-court press for Indiana’s life sciences future, the schools have teamed up like a dynamic backcourt duo. The Scientist, a biweekly publication delivered to 75,000 people worldwide, in November ranked Purdue No. 2 and Indiana No. 10 on a list of “Best Places to Work in Academia,” based on…

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STATEHOUSE DISPATCH: Stadium parley scrambles 2005 legislative agenda

At least until mid-December, we thought we had a tentative handle on the General Assembly’s focus for the 2005 session. We knew the new governor and the new Republican House majority would team up on economic development initiatives, improving governmental efficiency and restructuring state agencies. The biggest task would be crafting a realistic state budget in the face of adversity and uncertainty. The regular “stuff of government” would also be squeezed in and some thorny telecommunications issues would be raised,…

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Dems hope for some strategic input: Indiana Economic Development Council completes state plan, but it could get lost in switch

For months, Jackie Nytes has been developing a strategy for statewide economic development. It comes off the presses this week. But the inauguration of Mitch Daniels leaves her wondering whether anyone will ever read it-let alone act on its recommendations. Nytes, a Democratic member of the City-County Council, serves as president of the Indiana Economic Development Council Inc. Daniels, the Republican governor-elect, is folding all state economic development efforts into the Indiana Economic Development Corp. The corporation, a public-private partnership,…

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CHRIS KATTERJOHN Commentary: Avoid Florida-like snags on stadium

NAPLES, Fla.-As I entered the state of Florida yesterday, I remembered that just about a year ago I was at a meeting in South Miami where Florida Gov. Jeb Bush was holding court on economic development efforts. His pride and joy was a deal to bring the Scripps Research Institute to Palm Beach County on the state’s east coast. I wrote a column about it in our Feb. 9, 2004, issue. Bush and his team had lured the highly regarded…

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Wal-Mart nears deal on city’s northwest side: Neighbors hope retail behemoth will revive corridor

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is said to be getting closer to selecting a site in the Lafayette Square area for a SuperCenter, a move retail experts say would be a boost for the struggling commercial corridor. The world’s largest retailer has scouted the area around 38th Street and Lafayette Road for at least a year, but a decision on a site could happen in the next few months, according to several real estate sources. Unlike the situation surrounding a proposed SuperCenter…

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MICKEY MAURER Commentary: Looking back at 2004 and beyond

MICKEY MAURER Commentary Looking back at 2004 and beyond Every January, I like to reflect on some of the prior year’s topics. This year, I am especially nostalgic. You may be reading my last column. I have accepted a two-year hitch with the Daniels administration as president of the Indiana Economic Development Corp. and our editors at the Indianapolis Business Journal feel writing a column poses a conflict of interest with my new responsibilities. I agree. Last summer, I reviewed…

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