Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett detailed a new proposal to help fund infrastructure improvements in central Indiana during his State of the City address Wednesday evening. The mayor’s concept for the regional infrastructure fund would include contributions from Marion County, as well as the surrounding eight counties. The proposal would see a portion of future income tax growth from each county allocated into the regional infrastructure fund, which Hogsett says could provide tens of millions of dollars in new funding without a tax increase.
During his address, Hogsett said more than 160,000 commuters drive into Indianapolis every day for work, with tens of thousands more attending conventions, sports and entertainment events, and more.
"With the income taxes paid by these commuters exclusively benefiting the counties where they live, Marion County taxpayers bear the brunt of the financial burden for infrastructure which serves the entire region," said Hogsett. "After decades of underfunding, it is abundantly clear that any solution for Marion County’s infrastructure problems must include help from all who routinely use that infrastructure and thankfully, others outside Marion County agree."
Hogsett says his office will work with the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee to hold public discussions about the proposal, along with other ideas to help create a "more equitable, sustainable model for infrastructure funding." You can learn more about the initial proposal by clicking here.
The mayor also announced the city has received a second $55 million round of funding from the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s New Markets Tax Credit program. It is the second such round of funding for Indianapolis in the last three years.
Hogsett said the previous round helped finance the renovation of Riverside High School, construction of the OrthoIndy Foundation YMCA on the city’s northwest side, and the new Phoenix Theatre building in downtown Indy. It is also helping with the renovation of the former P.R. Mallory campus, which will become the home of two mayor-sponsored charter schools and several local businesses.
"As we look ahead at what it means to invest in our neighborhoods, we have yet another reason to celebrate," said Hogsett. "With this latest round of New Markets funding, only the third for our city since the program began nearly two decades ago, we’ll seek equally impactful projects that will bring new investment and opportunities to many of our neighborhoods."
Hogsett touted the ability of Indianapolis to attract thousands of new jobs, many of which are coming from the tech sector. He says the city’s goal should also be to provide quality jobs and pathways for residents to obtain them. He said challenges still remain to accomplish that goal, including adding more affordable housing and creating an atmosphere of inclusivity for Indy residents.
Hogsett said more than 160,000 commuters drive into Indianapolis every day for work.