IMA: As the Indiana General Assembly Prepares to Reconvene, Business Concerns Must Be in the Forefront

Indianapolis -On November 17, the Indiana General Assembly officially started with what is known as Organization Day. As legislators prepare for another legislative session, business concerns must be in the forefront of discussion in order to continue to move Indiana forward. Uncertainty has crept back into the markets. Third-quarter growth in the U.S. economy slowed to just 1.5 percent. It is estimated that growth for 2015 will be at a sluggish pace of 2.2 percent. The growth outlook for 2016 only improves slightly to a 2.5 percent growth rate. At the consumer level, confidence levels remain low affecting consumer spending. For the last nine years, the Indiana Manufacturers Association has partnered with the accounting firm of Katz Sapper & Miller to survey Indiana’s manufacturing community. This year’s survey shows that uncertainty. The survey revealed that Indiana’s manufacturing overall health has declined. Respondents who indicated that their financial performance was healthy dropped to 38 percent, down from 47 percent the previous year. In a ranking of issues, respondents were asked which issues were extremely important. Indiana’s corporate tax policy ranked highest at 75 percent, followed by Indiana’s business labor laws and regulations at 67 percent.
  Also included was Indiana’s infrastructure and logistics at 65 percent, and Indiana’s property tax policy at 64 percent. Of the most important regulatory concerns to Indiana manufacturing, changes to the health care law still ranked number one with 67 percent saying it was extremely important. That was followed by changes to the corporate tax rates (57%) and new regulations to control greenhouse emissions (42%).
Our elected officials must listen to the concerns of the number-one industry that drives Indiana’s economy – manufacturing. Recent positive steps have occurred. An example is the IMA-supported refinancing of the state’s unemployment insurance trust fund debt, which will save Indiana employers $327 million next year. This was a smart refinancing of that debt that eliminated the federal penalty for 2016. That $327 million will now flow back into Indiana’s economy for job retention and creation.  As the legislature reconvenes, the Indiana Manufacturers Association will not only be defending but will be reminding our elected officials there are many boxes that need to be checked to ensure that Indiana continues its forward momentum. Sound tax, environmental, infrastructure, labor, healthcare and workforce policies should have serious and rational debate. In doing so, Indiana can continue to improve in the rankings and job announcements.

About Brian Scott

I play on the radio from 7 am -1 pm weekdays on 98.9 FM WYRZ and WYRZ.org. Follow me on twitter @WYRZBrianScott or e-mail me at brian@wyrz.org.

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