An organization that advocates for municipal government in Indiana is looking to boost quality of place funding throughout the state. Accelerate Indiana Municipalities, or AIM, is pushing for legislation to create Investment Hubs that will enable regional development officials to raise revenue on an ongoing basis to fund transformative capital projects. AIM Chief Executive Officer Matt Greller says the state has done a great job in creating a strong business climate, but now needs to double down on attracting people back to the state, and that starts with cities and towns.
Fishers Mayor Scott Fadness joined Greller on a recent edition of Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick and said the Investment Hub model is very similar to the state’s Regional Cities Initiative.
"It’s about sustainability. Ultimately, what we need to do is have a flywheel of reinvestment into our regions and this idea that AIM is proposing and that we’re working diligently on is all about that," said Fadness. "If we can invest money into our regions and those regions prosper, more revenue is generated and then reinvest back into those regions and that cyclical flywheel approach is what really starts to move the needle towards creating the type of cities that I think the next generation of talented people what to live in."
AIM says an Investment Hub could be comprised of at least two neighboring units with a combined population threshold of 100,000, at least five units if the 100,000 population threshold is not met, or an existing Regional Development Authority whose members wish to opt-in and raise new revenue as an Investment Hub. In order to join a hub, the fiscal body of each member must pass a resolution that affirms their membership and commits to raising one of three revenue sources:
- Local Income Tax (at least .05 percent, up to a 1 percent max)
- Local Sales Tax (1 percent max)
- Food & Beverage Tax (1 percent max)
Half of the new revenue raised would go directly to the hub, with the remainder going to the general funds of each member of the hub. Only capital projects would be considered for funding raised through the hub.
Fadness says the Investment Hub model has the potential to change the course of a lot of regions throughout the state. "I think the conversation, and it’s been really encouraging talking to the leadership at the Statehouse, there’s a recognition that regions need to work together. There’s a recognition that we’ve got to give some tools to the locals to be able to do that. So I’m encouraged on both fronts."