News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Opinion

April 26, 2006

Pete Chalos: A community must invest in itself to improve itself

This month, the Terre Haute City Council voted in favor of the proposed tax increment finance (TIF) district on Indiana 46, passing it 6-3. Council members Jim Chalos, Rich Dunkin, Chuck Miles, Todd Nation, Shelva Warner and Cliff Lambert voted for the resolution.

This evening, the Vigo County Redevelopment Commission is going to conduct a public hearing concerning the details of the resolution, outlining the specifics. Upon their confirmation, the resolution will go back to the Terre Haute City Council for adoption on May 11.

The decision our City Council made this month was an endorsement of the city’s long-standing economic policies. Those opposed to the resolution were proposing that we abandon the way our city, along with every modern city in America, currently does business in favor of uncharted waters. No alternative strategy for encouraging development has been proposed.

Without a plan, Terre Haute would have been going nowhere fast. Those opposed to the concept of tax increment incentives should bear the burden of coming up with something better. In the absence of a better plan, abandoning a policy that has brought so much development to the area can’t be justified.

Councilman Ryan Cummins has argued that a TIF district would result in a tax increase on property throughout the county. He could also argue that allocating no tax revenue to economic development would significantly reduce the tax burden on area property owners. Forgoing an investment in the future of our city isn’t going to save money. Instead, it will cause progress to halt and speed up the exodus of our citizens from Vigo County as they seek jobs elsewhere.

Our city will not experience progress without investing in the future. In order to experience job growth, an investment must be made. All there is to consider is whether or not the return on our investment will profit the taxpayers of Terre Haute and Vigo County.

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    March 12, 2010

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