Lawmakers think new law to spur regional job growth

Gov. Eric Holcomb, center at desk, signs Senate Enrolled Act 554 into law. Photo provided

A new state law could spur more economic development and jobs locally, according to lawmakers.

Sponsored by State Reps. Ethan Manning (R-Denver), Mike Karickhoff (R-Kokomo) and Heath VanNatter (R-Kokomo), the new law allows inactive or closed military bases the opportunity to renew its enterprise zone status.

Senate Enrolled Act 554 allows the Indiana Economic Development Corporation to renew enterprise zones established in inactive or decommissioned military installations for up to 20 years, rather than 10 years.

Created in the 1980s, enterprise zones were designed to further stimulate investment and development in urban areas. This legislation addresses four former military bases in Indiana, including Grissom Aeroplex.

“Grissom Aeroplex is a former air force base with more than 200 acres certified as ‘shovel ready’ making it a valuable resource in Miami County,” Manning said. “The enterprise zone gives us the chance to attract economic development opportunities to our area.”

According to Karickhoff, enterprise zones receive incentives and tax exemptions in order to encourage business investment and support local jobs.

“Offering job creators these incentives to locate and grow in Indiana means more opportunities for hard-working Hoosiers,” Karickhoff said.

“On average, these enterprise zones create 3,000 jobs,” VanNatter said. “Nearly half of those positions are filled by people living in the community where the zones exist. Jobs created here impact countless Hoosier lives.”

Under the new law, Fort Harrison, River Ridge Development Authority and Vermillion Rise Mega Park are also eligible to renew their enterprise zone status.

For more information about Senate Enrolled Act 554, visit iga.in.gov.

State Rep. Heath VanNatter (R-Kokomo) represents House District 38, which includes portions of Carroll, Cass, Howard and Clinton counties.

State Rep. Mike Karickhoff (R-Kokomo) represents House District 30, which includes portions of Grant and Howard counties.

State Rep. Ethan Manning (R-Denver) represents House District 23, which includes portions of Cass, Fulton and Miami counties.

Reach Quentin Blount at quentin.blount@pharostribune.com or 574-732-5130.

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