Larger Payout For Regional Cities Winners Not Off The Table

Nov 23, 2015

The Northwest Region's proposal included a plan for double-tracking the area's South Shore Line, which would make it more attractive to commuters.
Credit Tom Whitten /

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation will soon decide which regions are awarded $84 million for the Regional Cities Initiative, and lawmakers could decide this coming session whether more money will be given out.

The legislature earmarked $84 million, generated through the 2015 tax amnesty program, for the Regional Cities Initiative.  The money was intended to be divided between two regions.  But members of the committee reviewing the proposals have debated the idea of splitting the funding between three regions.  Legislative leaders such as House Ways and Means Chair Tim Brown say they’re okay with that direction.

You know, I won’t micromanage what they do," he says. "We’ll let them do what they decide and we’ll have a discussion about where that goes from here.”

Review committee members also discussed the idea of putting more money into Regional Cities if the tax amnesty program brings in more money than expected.  Senate Appropriations Chair Luke Kenley says that move would require legislative approval.

“We’d have to discuss the whole financial situation," Kenley says. "I’m not ready to give away my money until I know where we stand otherwise and how they would want to spend that.”

The review committee will meet in December to decide which regions it will recommend.