BUILDING Jobs in Indiana – A Policy Proposal

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If the pending bankruptcy of Detroit should teach us anything, it is that old Rust Belt communities are susceptible to drastic decline if we do not focus on results-driven economic development efforts.

In the months preceding his announcement to run for State Representative, Michael met with his team, various economic development professionals, designers and other building contractors discussing the need for economic development re-investment in vacant industrial buildings. Communities bend over backwards to help new businesses break ground on vacant lots. All too often economic development efforts focus on “certified shovel-ready” sites for the purpose of building new, state of the art facilities on unimproved land. Meanwhile “out-dated” facilities in need of renovation remain vacant.  Michael’s Certified Reno-Ready plan was developed to address this issue.

Indiana’s Industrial Recovery Tax Credit already exists to promote new business investment in these vacant buildings; however, it is underutilized. The Certified Reno-Ready plan will create a process whereby local economic development organizations can increase the marketability of vacant industrial facilities by marketing with this certification. The program could operate similarly to the existing Shovel Ready Program, including a special certification from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation and listing on its database.

The Reno-Ready certification program would promote a more streamlined and predictable permitting and tax credit/abatement processes providing a competitive edge in attracting new businesses and site selectors. The Industrial Recovery Tax Credit can be expanded to include renovations to additional vacant buildings for employers who bring new jobs to the community.

The program would authorize submissions by private firms of building design mock-ups for building expansion and renovations that comply with the certification specs. Local municipalities may allow Certified Reno-Ready buildings to qualify for preferred status with permitting, tax credit/abatement, based upon specifically established criteria for qualification. Tax Credits would be directly tied to capital investment and/or new job creation.

By no means does this proposal call for the elimination of the Shovel Ready Certification for unimproved land. However, it does apply a results-driven focus on job creation, infrastructure improvement and business attraction and development.

Count on Michael to continue to bring forth ideas to improve our community!