Today the Republican candidate for governor, Eric Holcomb, issued his economic development plan for Indiana. His Democratic opponent, John Gregg, had previously issued his plan.
Economic development is particularly important for Indiana’s fiscal well-being since nearly 91 percent of the state’s tax revenue derives from economically sensitive taxes on the sale of goods (49 percent), personal income (35 percent) and corporate income (7 percent).
Indiana’s economic news is mixed and has been since the recession. Employment has surpassed pre-recession levels and the state’s unemployment rate has dipped to 4.5 percent, but household income remains stagnant with real per-capita personal income up 1.5 percent over three years putting Indiana 39th among states.
The two plans vary in scope and specificity.
Holcomb’s is called “Eric’s Economic Development Plan” and includes four points: Retain, Retrain and Recruit the Best and Brightest, Lead the Nation with Infrastructure Investment and Innovation, Keep Energy Costs Down for All Hoosiers and Maintain Our Fiscal Discipline. Holcomb’s plan contains between two and eight bullet points to explain his positions.
Gregg’s is called “Restoring Indiana as an Economic Leader" and includes eight points: Accountability to Ensure Indiana Moves Forward on Jobs, Build and Retain a Skilled Hoosier Workforce, Grow Indiana Small Businesses & Startups, Support for Existing Hoosier Business, Streamline the State’s Economic Development Efforts, Leverage Private-Sector Research and Funding, Restore and Rebuild Indiana’s Reputation and A More Inclusive State Bidding Process. Each section contains footnoted paragraphs to explain his positions.
Interestingly, the only direct agreement in the plans is to extend the state’s venture capital tax credit to investors outside the state. Otherwise, each candidate has differing views of the scope of economic development activity and the state’s direct involvement in the effort.