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2021 Legislative Priorities

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Economic Growth

STATE AND LOCAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Tax Increment Financing: Maximize the ability of local government units to respond to redevelopment and economic development opportunities through utilization of Tax Increment Financing (TIF) districts

  • Transparency: Establish a schedule of performance reports to local governing bodies and encourage the establishment of public online resources for tracking TIF performance metrics, funded by TIF revenue
  • Housing: Expand eligibility requirements to allow more communities to utilize residential and housing TIF structures to incentivize development of affordable housing

Local Incentives: Secure and maintain flexibility of local incentives for economic and community development efforts to encourage new growth and redevelopment of existing resources

  • Certified Tech Parks: Increase the Certified Technology Park (CTP) tax capture allowance from the current $5 million cap to allow high performing CTPs to increase public-private investment in the CTP and surrounding areas

State Incentives: Maintain Indiana’s economic competitiveness through the preservation and responsible use of existing state tax incentives, placing emphasis on skills enhancement and workforce training to attract investment from diverse industry sectors

  • Increase funding the state Skills Enhancement Fund to assist companies in addressing 21st Century skills gap.

Entrepreneurship and Innovation Investments: Support policies that can improve the State’s capital environment, nurture innovation, and advance racial equity by:

  • Prioritizing increased access to capital and technical assistance for businesses and entrepreneurs of color
  • Reviewing state entrepreneurship and innovation support operations to eliminate process barriers to equitable access
  • Maintaining permanence of the state’s Research and Development, Hoosier Business Investment, and Venture Capital Investment tax credit programs
  • Increasing funding for the 21st Century Research and Technology Fund to support industry driven initiatives
  • Enhancing flexibility for public investment in venture capital funds that invest in Indiana companies
  • Enhancing funding to support more university-sponsored grant programs and seed funding for applied research and commercialization 

Advanced Telecommunications: Support efforts by telecommunications providers to transition their networks from old legacy technology to an advanced all-IP, all-mobile, 5G supportive, all-cloud infrastructure

COMMUNITY REDEVELOPMENT AND INVESTMENT

Housing: Advance equity, public health outcomes, and economic growth by supporting public and private strategies to expand and maintain the supply of affordable housing options

  • HomeownershipState and local government strategies to incentivize homeownership growth, especially in Black and brown communities, should include low-barrier, low-interest loan products and home repair resources. Support nonprofit sector first-time homeowner education programs, require for publicly subsidized loan programs
  • Rental Assistance: State and local governments should increase the amount of federal relief dollars dedicated to rental assistance if additional funds are made available or flexibility increased
  • Eviction Prevention: Reduce eviction rates through tenant and landlord education on rights, responsibilities, and resolution strategies; mediation services for settlement and housing retention; legal representation in eviction proceedings; wrap-around services to address barriers to stable housing

Brownfields: Accelerate community reinvestment and accessible employment opportunities in and around brownfield sites, driving economic development and maximizing property values by:

  • Restoring funding to Indiana Finance Authority’s Brownfield Grant Program, adding IFA staff capacity to administer the program, reduce wait times and extend technical assistance efforts
  • Expanding grant and loan resources for “Phase I” and “Phase II” environmental site assessments for former brownfields
  • Creating tax incentives based on employment on former brownfield sites
  • Expanding flexibility of a redevelopment commission to sell or transfer a title to real property which is undeveloped, underdeveloped, or considered blighted due to the real or perceived threat of environmental contamination for private development 

Regional Cities Initiative: Promote regional cooperation and strategic quality of life investments through the Indiana Economic Development Corporation’s (IEDC) Regional Cities Initiative (RCI)

  • Increase funding for technical assistance and planning grants for regional development authorities
  • Encourage the creation of federally recognized Economic Development Districts

Stellar Communities: Support continued investment and rural communities and small towns across Indiana by strengthening and expanding the Indiana Stellar Communities program, emphasizing increased technical assistance and capacity-building towards brownfield remediation and redevelopment

Historic Rehabilitation: Increase state funding and incentives to encourage redevelopment and investment in aging commercial, industrial and residential properties

  • Restore the Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit program for large, catalytic projects that leverage available federal funding and lead to job growth and higher wages
  • Maximize immediate value of Historical Rehabilitation Tax Credit by allowing recipients to transfer credits for cash value
  • Increase funding for the Historic Rehabilitation grant program for smaller-scale projects of up to $100,000 or 50% of project cost that drive reinvestment in local cultural, community, and tourism development efforts

Shovel-Ready Redevelopment: Support shovel ready community redevelopment efforts through the creation of a statewide grant program to fund the demolition of blighted commercial properties

Revitalization Grants and Revolving Loan Fund: Allow local governments the ability to make grants and loans to private enterprise for the creation of jobs or otherwise stimulate economic activity

Food Access & Insecurity: Support innovative efforts to increase access to healthy food options and strategies to improve food security to support the health of Indiana residents and workforce. Empower and enable innovative and proven food distribution models, alternative payment processes, and data collection on food access and insecurity

DIVERSITY

Reinforce and enhance Indiana’s brand as a welcoming and diverse state by:

  • Strengthening “bias crime” penalties for criminal offenses where it can be proven that the victim or target is intentionally selected because of personal characteristics enumerated by law
  • Updating the state’s current anti-discrimination law to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in housing, employment, and public accommodations
  • Encouraging federal leadership on comprehensive immigration reform. Restore the eligibility for in-state tuition and financial aid to state colleges and universities for foreign born students who have matriculated through the Indiana K-12 system

TRANSPORTATION, INFRASTRUCTURE & ENVIRONMENT

Local Roads and Streets: Ensure adequate funding for local roads and streets, while maintaining equitable funding for urban and suburban areas by accurately accounting for lane miles in the infrastructure funding formula; and further:

  • Financing and Delivery: Provide maximum flexibility to local governments in the financing, design and construction of local transportation infrastructure, including the use of Public-Private Partnerships and Design-Build
  • Alternative Metrics: The current MVH/LRS funding formula places a disproportionate cost burden for shared critical infrastructure in urbanized metropolitan areas. Alternative allocation metrics should be explored to correct inequities and funding base-level diversions
  • Project Priority: Given government budget constraints, priority for infrastructure projects must be given to safety-related maintenance and restoration of existing infrastructure over new construction

Hoosier State Line: Reinstate state support to continue operations and enhance service of the Hoosier State Line to better facilitate connectivity and economic opportunity between Indianapolis, Northwest Indiana, and Chicago

Complete Streets: Pursue state transportation policies that encourage transportation planners and engineers to plan, design, operate and maintain the state’s road and street infrastructure that facilitates public use, physical activity, and support public health

Greenways: Support the expansion of the Next Level Trails grant program to ensure long-term funding of trail projects

Mass Transit: Restore a dedicated funding stream for the Public Mass Transportation Fund (PMTF) to account for increased participation and demand of transit agencies throughout the state

  • Incentives: Create state employer incentives for employee benefits for alternative modes of transportation, transit packages, workplace bike infrastructure or other modes of transportation that encourage healthier workforce 

Shared & Personal Mobility: Capitalize on rapid advances in personal mobility and transportation by making new mobility options safe and accessible for Hoosiers, and positioning Indiana as a center of innovation for mobility solutions

  • Autonomous Vehicles: Advocate for regulatory changes to promote the development, testing and deployment of autonomous vehicles in Indiana
  • Transparent Regulatory Framework: Beyond autonomous vehicles, develop a clear and predictable regulatory framework that applies to other mobility options, to avoid confusion and delays in integrating new products and services into our transportation system
  • Emphasize equitable access to new mobility options: Work to eliminate barriers to individuals and communities taking advantage of mobility options, so personal mobility can also be a catalyst for upward mobility
  • Create a truly comprehensive transportation strategy: Acknowledging that no single agency or organization can oversee the complex transportation system, bring together partners (state and local, public and private) to develop long-term, data-driven strategies that incorporate new and innovative mobility options and focus on critical transportation challenges
  • Safety first: Evaluate traffic rules, street construction/configuration, and other modal regulations to ensure mobility options work together safely for pedestrians, riders, drivers, and other users

Water: Support the creation of a statewide coordinating body to ensure sustained economic opportunity through responsible management of water resources

Energy Efficiency: Secure state incentives for business and local government investments in energy-efficient commercial and industrial rehabilitation and fleet management

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