Indiana – one of the States presenting to the Transatlantic Business Forum in Cambridge UK on Thursday March 8 – has slashed its taxes in a bid to attract relocating companies from around the world.The Midwest state is rolling out the red carpet to overseas enterprises in an unprecedented charm offensive under the ‘Right to Work’ banner.
Indiana’s latest initiatives have seen the state:-
• Lower business taxes by almost 25 per cent
• Cut property taxes by almost 30 per cent
• Cap the property tax rate
• Implement a $10B infrastructure improvement plan
• Eliminate inventory tax
• Adopt new R & D and Venture Capital tax credits
Dan Hasler, Indiana Secretary of Commerce and CEO of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation told Business Weekly, media partner for the Cambridge forum: “Right-to-work is the latest in a series of improvements that make Indiana a world-class location where world-class companies can thrive and be profitable.
“With our low-tax environment, robust transportation infrastructure and AAA credit rating, Indiana continues to make headlines across the globe for creating an environment where businesses can achieve their full potentials.”
Hasler said that under ‘Right to Work,’ workers are no longer forced to pay union dues to keep a job in Indiana. And companies seeking to expand in or relocate to Indiana will experience a more flexible and attractive workforce.
He said: “Everything is in place for companies choosing Indiana to find a profitable home. Add this to Indiana’s convenient location of being within a day’s drive to 80 per cent of the US population and Indiana quickly stands out as one of the nation’s premiere business locations.”
Indiana's power production chiefly consists of the consumption of fossil fuels, mainly coal. Indiana has 24 coal power plants, including the largest coal power plant in the United States, Gibson Generating Station, located across the Wabash River from Mount Carmel, Illinois.
Indiana is also home to the coal-fired plant with the highest sulphur dioxide emissions in the United States, the Gallagher power plant just west of New Albany. The state has an estimated coal reserves of fifty-seven billion tons; state mining operations produces thirty-five million tons of coal annually.
While Indiana has made commitments to increasing use of renewable resources such as wind, hydroelectric, biomass, or solar power, however, progress has been very slow, mainly because of the continued abundance of coal in Southern Indiana. Most of the new plants in the state have been coal gasification plants. Another source is hydroelectric power.
Solar power and wind power are firmly on the energy agenda and geothermal power is already being used commercially. Indiana has installed more than 530 MW of wind turbines.
• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: Dan Hasler