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COLUMBIA CITY â€” After local elected officials voiced concerns surrounding Ind. Gov. Mike Penceâ€™s proposal to eliminate the Business Personal Property Tax (BPPT), economic development leader Alan Tio, offered his perspective on the future of Whitley County without the tax.
â€śItâ€™s wonâ€™t completely tie our hands, as far as economic development,â€ť Tio said. â€śIt will mean we have to look at things a little differently.â€ť
Tio, the executive director for the Whitley County Economic Development Corporation, was on hand Tuesday at the County Council meeting to explain several different loan and funding options for new and expanding businesses.
â€śWe have different avenues we can travel for funding,â€ť Tio told Council members. â€śItâ€™s just a matter of finding the right tools to match the need.â€ť
Should Gov. Penceâ€™s plan pass, county entities will suffer a substantial loss of income. County schools, libraries and city and county governments will all experience a steep decrease in budget numbers.
However, the stateâ€™s initiative is to create a more competitive market for attracting new industry and jobs.
â€śI havenâ€™t had a business complain about having to pay the BPPT,â€ť said Tio. â€śBut, I can see where it becomes tiresome. You are asking companies to pay a tax on a machine they might have for 50 years. That can add up to a lot of money. I would like to hear from Whitley County businesses. What do they think about this proposal?â€ť
Some options have been discussed at the state level that would allow counties to make the BPPT optional and at the local governmentâ€™s discretion.
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