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Public affairs veteran will oversee Indiana’s leading research institute on tax & spending policies as General Assembly crafts 2020-21 state budget

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., January 17, 2019 – The Indiana Fiscal Policy Institute (IFPI), a privately-supported, independent research organization analyzing state and local tax and budgetary policies, has named public affairs veteran Chris Watts as its new President.  Watts assumes his new duties as the 121st Indiana General Assembly begins its schedule of budget and other committee hearings.

“We’re excited to announce Chris Watts as President of the Indiana Fiscal Policy Institute,” said Katrina Hall, chair of IFPI’s board and Director of Public Policy for Indiana Farm Bureau.  “After 32 years, the Institute’s mission is more relevant than ever; we look forward to working with Chris on a research agenda exploring issues of how Indiana collects and spends taxpayer money, and the impacts on Hoosiers.”

Watts has been a public affairs consultant for business and community groups, adding more than a decade of experience as an executive at an Indy-based marketing agency.  He also served as Vice-President of Research and Communications for the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership, helping launch and promote statewide industry initiatives like BioCrossroads, Conexus Indiana and the Energy Systems Network.

The IFPI was formed in 1987.  Since its inception, IFPI’s research has spurred action on issues like unfunded public pension liabilities and added valuable insight to debates over property tax reform, the scope of state sales taxes, how state revenues are divided among local governments and more.  Its Board of Directors launched a search for a new President in mid-2018 to continue these efforts.

“Working in public policy, advocacy and economic development over the course of my career, I’ve valued the Fiscal Policy Institute a respected, impartial authority on state tax and fiscal policy matters,” Watts said.  “By using independent, objective research to inform policymakers and the public, IFPI can play a key role in addressing two-year budget issues and twenty-year fiscal challenges alike – I’m eager to get started.”

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Contact: Chris Watts, cwatts@indianafiscal.org, 317-514-3184 

About the Indiana Fiscal Policy Institute:

The Indiana Fiscal Policy Institute (IFPI) is Indiana’s only independent, statewide source of ongoing research and analysis into state and local taxing and spending policies. The IFPI is privately supported by a variety of organizations, businesses, associations, and individuals in Indiana and surrounding states.

IFPI’s mission is to enhance the effectiveness and accountability of state and local government through the education of policymakers, the private sector and public-at-large on critical fiscal issues and the longer-term consequences of policies addressing them.  IFPI does not lobby, support, or oppose candidates for public office, instead relying on objective research for assessing and influencing sound fiscal strategies.

Visit www.IndianaFiscal.org and follow @IndianaFiscal for more.