WFIU reporter Jimmy Jenkins sat down with Terre Haute Mayor Duke Bennett to ask him about several issues the city is facing.
We started with his thoughts on Indiana legislation that would eliminate the business personal property tax.
Here are some highlights from their conversation:
Bennett: I think the best thing is to step away from it, even if it’s a temporary pause. We’re all on the same page, we want Indiana communities to grow because of the environment we create. But we need replacement revenue. After the property tax caps, we lost $9 million a year and if we lose another $4.5 million a year through this business personal properties, we’re getting close to 50% of our income gone forever. We can’t afford to lose any more money to run local government.
Jenkins: In the past you’ve remained neutral on the Indiana marriage amemdment, HJR-3. Has your opinion changed?
Bennett: I don’t put my name on any lists, I’ve told everybody that. I know there are some mayors against guns and mayors for this and mayors for that. I don’t put myself out there like that because I don’t want to do anything related in my position just for political gain for me. I just don’t think it’s the right thing we need to be debating right now.
Jenkins: We see they are tearing down some old buildings on Wabash Avenue to make way for a new development operated by Indiana State University.
Bennett: We’re having a lot of interest with housing downtown so this is what I believe to be the first of several projects.
Jenkins: What about the need for parking in downtown?
Bennett: We brought a firm on board to look at the whole downtown area, not only for parking, but from pedestrian and bicycles. We want to be sure as we build out the downtown, that we’re conscious of these things.