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Terre Haute Economic Development Funds To Stay In Place

The city of Terre Haute’s general fund will finish the calendar year in the red, but the deficit will only be half that of last year’s. This comes after the city council Thursday tabled a proposal that would have padded the general fund with $2 million of Economic Development Income Tax cash.

But Councilman Norm Loudermilk says the EDIT money should stay where it is. He wants it to go towards projects it was originally created for.

“The only way we’re all going to prosper is if business grows,” he says. “We need to make sure we have that money there to support business growth. If we deplete our accounts, we’re not going to be able to do what is really required for economic development to make Terre Haute a better place to live.”

Mayor Duke Bennett, speaking at the council meeting, says even if the money was transferred from EDIT to the general fund, the Economic Development Commission would still be able to function.

“I have met with the Economic Development Corporation Executive Committee and went through this with them, and they have no concerns, and a presentation was done two days ago with the president of the Chamber, with the Chamber Board, and they raised no concerns,” he says.

Both Bennett and Loudermilk agree that next year, the city should be back in the black. Loudermilk says the city was hurt by property tax caps placed on it by the legislature in 2010, and is just now recovering.

The $2 million transfer would have helped cover an anticipated loss of at least that much in property taxes, after the city was informed the assessed valuation of its property is expected to shrink in 2013.

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