Regional Cities Initiative

Indiana Economic Development Corporation / http://indianaregionalcities.com/

Lawmakers say they’re excited about the transformative effect the state’s Regional Cities program can have in linking communities and fostering economic development.  But some are less enthusiastic about simply handing over more tax amnesty money to pay for it.

State Tax Amnesty Collections Exceed $137 Million

Dec 14, 2015
Phillip Ingham / https://www.flickr.com/photos/phillip/345829246

The total in delinquent tax payments collected through Indiana’s tax amnesty program continues to increase as the state processes payments. 

When the state closed its tax amnesty period – which allowed people to pay back taxes without penalties, interest or fines – it announced it had collected about $100 million, with another $21 million promised by June through payment plans. 

Jason Kuffer / https://www.flickr.com/photos/digiart2001/3197813348

A Ball State University economist predicts the U.S. economy will grow about 2.2-percent next year. 

The annual forecast is lower than in previous years, but this year’s predictions take into account the inherent trouble with forecasts.

Last year, Ball State economist Michael Hicks predicted the U.S. would grow its gross domestic product – or GDP – by around 2.7-percent.  So did many others. 

Tom Whitten / https://www.flickr.com/photos/elmerfishpaw/

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation will soon decide which regions are awarded $84 million for the Regional Cities Initiative, and lawmakers could decide this coming session whether more money will be given out.

City of West Lafayette

Since he was unopposed in Tuesday’s election, West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis has had the luxury of spending the last several months working more on the State Street redesign than running for office.

On this week’s Ask The Mayor, we ask about a couple tangential issues – whether now is the right time for the city to get its own water utility and whether the failure of a plan to secure regional planning dollars hurts the city as it gets set to pay what could be a $50 million bill for the project.

Intiaz Rahim / https://www.flickr.com/photos/chocolatedisco/

A panel of business leaders responsible for helping choose which of Indiana’s seven Regional Cities Initiative proposals will get state funding met Tuesday to determine the criteria on which those proposals will be judged. 

The Regional Cities committee largely agrees on the goal of the initiative: attract and retain talent. But there’s less consensus on how to accomplish that – is it prioritizing so-called quality of place, or should the focus be on creating high-wage jobs? 

Ivy Tech Community College

Plans are being made for a statewide precision agriculture center at Ivy Tech’s Terre Haute campus.

Ivy Tech already offers agriculture technician courses, training students to become IT specialists for a new age of GPS enabled farm equipment. This equipment lets farmers target the best spot in their fields to plant, spread extra fertilizer or use more herbicide.

Indiana Begins Its Second Tax Amnesty Program

Sep 16, 2015
Chris Potter / https://www.flickr.com/photos/86530412@N02/

Hoosiers now have a two-month window to pay off back taxes without any penalties, fines or interest, through Indiana’s Tax Amnesty program, which runs until November 16.

Department of Revenue Commissioner Andrew Kossack says more than 260,000 people are eligible for the tax amnesty program and will be sent letters notifying them of the opportunity.  He says the program is particularly useful for taxpayers with old debts.

OZinOH / https://www.flickr.com/photos/75905404@N00/5120258926/

Frankfort city and Clinton County officials have each set aside $13,000 to enter a regional planning organization. The group of counties would approve, then fund, projects using local contributions as seed money for grants.

Frankfort Mayor Chris McBarnes says his county needs to make itself seem bigger and more populous to potential investors.

PT Money / ptmoney.com

Hoosier businesses and individuals who owe back taxes to the state will have an opportunity to pay what they owe, without a penalty, this fall. The governor Monday announced a start date for the state’s tax amnesty program.

Indiana conducted its first tax amnesty program in 2005, collecting about $244 million in back taxes.

Those who participated in that program will be ineligible to take advantage of a new tax amnesty window, open from Sept. 15–Nov. 16.

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