Because of the detailed documentation involved, Lane recommended that directors of city and county groups not reply to a request for information unless a potential site seems like a good fit in regards to size, ceiling height, distance to an interstate, daily gallons of water, type of electricity and other specifications.
Once a site is chosen, IEDC offers incentives. With the state wage average around $21 hourly, “we won’t incentivize anything under $12” hourly. He said, “We work with the local community” to create financial enticements. When IEDC leaders receive a local letter of support, they can get a company to sign a pre-commit letter within 30 days.
The Jennings County resident emphasized, “Our incentives are based on (jobs) performance” and are not given upfront. If a company leaves the state without fulfilling its promises, “we’ll go back after our incentives. We have in the past. We have agreements … we have a legal team that does that.” He admitted, “We don’t want to do that unless we have to. If it’s a struggling business, we may give them an extra year on their contract.” Daniels advised IEDC leaders, “Help them, don’t penalize them” and Gov. Mike Pence feels similarly.
The state has made a commitment to infrastructure, the director noted. A $10 billion improvement plan is underway. Indiana boasts three “world-class ports,” according to the former Jennings County economic development director.
“Of course we’re going to get out and tout ourselves” and it’s easier to do that as Indiana gets high national rankings. The newest accolade, in October: “We knocked off Texas” from the Tax Foundation’s top 10 list of best states for taxes on business. Indiana came in at No. 10 in the U.S. and first in the Midwest. “That’s a big deal for us.”