TERRE HAUTE —
Abatement reform is really a very simple exercise
Most Indiana city councils spend their time looking for the keys to a better abatement policy under the lamppost, like the drunk in the old joke, because the light is better there.
Councilmen are willing to entertain all manner of reform as long as it does not require them to move outside their sphere of political influence. That rules out making the one change that would restore investment confidence — namely, taking politics out of the mix.
Do that, though, and writing a clean abatement policy becomes as simple as one, two, three:
1. Award abatements on the dollar value of investments only, not on “jobs created” or “environment improved” or any other factor that can be politically or bureaucratically interpreted. (City Hall staffers can throw out their inscrutable point scales.)
2. Ensure that awards are for new investment going forward. The abatement must truly pay for itself and not be subsidized by existing business operations. And as old abatements expire, new ones are awarded, optimizing your city’s tax profile.
3. Limit council involvement to the establishment of a flat investment floor above which all businesses, without exception and including professional offices, qualify for the same abatement rate.
Anything more complex and you limit the pool of investors to those who have retained the right law firm and contributed to the right political campaign.
— Craig Ladwig
Review Foundation, Fort Wayne
Lucky to be part of police academy
Kudos to Terre Haute police Chief John Plasse and his staff for hosting our community’s first Civilian Police Academy.
Fifteen lucky participants were afforded a rare, hands-on experience as we learned about the many departments, disciplines, and training needed to keep us safe and secure.
As every week in the six-week program passed, our respect and appreciation grew. Terre Haute is truly blessed with a highly trained, well-equipped and dedicated police force.
Should anyone be given the opportunity to participate in future academies, run don’t walk to the registration.
Thanks to everyone in Terre Haute’s thin blue line.
— Mary Ann K. Swander
Obama leading the USA to ruin
It is really sad to see this country fall so far from the grace of God by wanting to legalize immorality.
Even sadder yet is to see the president of this country leading the way.
We should all be ashamed of this action and the president.
Many countries before us have taken this route and have fallen into disgrace and oblivion. Is USA next in line?
Thank you, President Obama, for wanting to lead us into complete ruin.
— Joe DeLorme