Crony Capitalism: Tax Beak Redux?

December 6, 2011

Editors:  The following column was first published on May 16, 2005. It is being reposted because of pertinence to economic-development proposals before this General Assembly (266 words).

“Lilly Seeks Tax Breaks on Cascade of Projects.” — the Indianapolis Star, May 16, 2005

At first glance, the headline prompts the thought that if a company the size of Lilly needs help, where does the Mom & Pop Bakery turn? Actually, though, Lilly’s tax bills are high partly because many other Indianapolis businesses now have special tax breaks.

The situation suggests the need for a new concept. The business community has, in the past, declared its belief in free enterprise. So let’s have the state, municipal agencies and business groups combine in national advertising, as follows:

Anyone care to guess what might happen? Might we at least determine the true position of the business community.

Fred McCarthy is an adjunct scholar of the Indiana Policy Review Foundation who for 40 years represented various taxpayer and business organizations before local governmental bodies and the Indiana Legislature. He now edits the blog, Indy Tax Dollars.


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