In January, Mayor Greg Ballard signaled a shift in economic development strategy for the city by announcing plans to reinvest $5.5 million from recovered tax abatements in efforts to seek new investment and create jobs in Marion County.
The City-County Council recently approved the measure, which will direct $3.5 million to Indianapolis Economic Development, Inc. (IEDI) $1.5 million to the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association (ICVA), and $500,000 to be divided among the Department of Metropolitan Development (DMD) and the Office of Education Innovation (OEI).
The funds will come from companies that received tax breaks but failed to meet obligations to create or retain jobs locally, and they will offer a significant boost to economic development efforts that are currently receiving about $500,000 a year.
“We have great organizations tasked with growing wealth and opportunity for our entire community, and they have demonstrated that they know how to achieve an astounding return on investment. It’s time we invest at a level that is appropriate for a city this size, with this much to offer businesses looking for a place to locate or conventions looking for a new venue,” said Ballard. “We need IEDI and ICVA to be the economic drivers that act in concert with the city as development investment partners for critical deals to continue bringing jobs and capital to Indianapolis.”
“Mayor Ballard’s commitment to job growth is evident through his support of the funding for IEDI. He understands additional resources are needed to make Indianapolis even more competitive as we aggressively pursue job and investment opportunities throughout the world,” said Scott Miller, CEO, IEDI. “With this funding we will be able to create an economic development team modeled after some of the best teams in the country. Couple that with all of the advantages our city already offers and Indianapolis will be hard to beat.” “The ICVA is deeply grateful to Mayor Ballard, his staff and the members of the City-County Council for the faith they have placed in us. This appropriation, accompanied by a substantial gift from the White Family Foundation, comes at a critical time as we attempt to capitalize on the dramatic additions to our hospitality product,” added Don Welsh, president and CEO of the ICVA. “Through aggressive marketing and sales, our organization and our partners are focused on delivering significant return on this investment as we make Indianapolis one of the top convention, meetings and leisure travel destinations in the country.”