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Connecting Our Communities

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The funding measure was passed during the approval of the state's biennial budget.

According to a press release from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, the Regional Cities Initiative encourages neighboring communities to work together by awarding funds to those groups who develop the best vision and action plans for attracting residents to their regions.

“As Indiana continues to prove itself as the best place in the country to do business, the next frontier is to become a top destination for talent,” said Indiana Secretary of Commerce Victor Smith in the release. “We must embrace regional collaboration and investments in livability and culture as we work to be a nationally recognized state to live and work. The Indiana Regional Cities Initiative is the key to this effort, and I thank the governor and our lawmakers for giving Hoosiers the tools to transform our communities.”

Furthermore, a study from Ball State University recommended state agencies boost regional development by taking the following actions:

  • Considering linkages across municipal and county boundaries.
  • Prioritizing integration with regions where business attraction and retention efforts are consolidated or have fully integrated services.
  • Meriting funding and operational efforts to entities that have connected regionally.

According to information released by, the initiative's official website, lawmakers were able to approve Gov. Mike Pence's $84 million funding request for the initiative by establishing a tax amnesty program. This program will allow Indiana businesses and residents to pay back taxes without penalty, but it will also fund the initiative by requiring that money to be deposited into the Regional Cities Development Fund until $84 million has been raised.

Originally, lawmakers were only setting aside $ 10 million a year for the initiative.

In an article by Indiana Public Media, Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, said he expected the amnesty program to provide more than what was needed for the Regional Cities Initiative.

Indiana Regional Cities Initiative

Regional Cities