Indianapolis Hunting For Business in Illinois

Indianapolis Hunting For Business in Illinois

By Erin McPike - January 20, 2011

There's already something of an unspoken rivalry between Ohio and Indiana.

Ohio's unemployment rate has been in poorer shape than the national rate, but it is dropping. Still, as jobs have left Ohio while Indiana's climate has steadily improved, there has been some friction and some resentment in the Buckeye State.

And now for Indiana, a rivalry is trickling down to the city level - but to the west. Indianapolis Mayor Gregory Ballard, a Republican, took out a full-page ad in the Chicago Tribune and other Illinois papers on Tuesday promoting his city's business climate and suggesting that Illinois businesses take a look at moving shop.

Addressed to Illinois business leaders, the "letter" of the ad begins, "As you consider the effect of large, new state tax increases on your company's bottom line and ability to hire, I invite you to take a serious look at Indianapolis." It continues, "The nation's 13th largest city is right next door, offering the same Midwestern work ethic and conveniences - but in a much more stable, affordable and pro-growth economic environment."

Just last week, the Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, a Democrat, approved tax increases on income both for individuals and corporations in order to balance budget sheets in the state over time.

The uproar over taxes has seeped into the Chicago mayoral race, with Rahm Emanuel on Wednesday proposing a tax swap and former Sen. Carol Moseley Braun criticizing the proposal as another increase.

Ballard's ad touting the Indianapolis climate plays directly into that fight by noting that his city has the "best business tax climate among Great Lakes states and constitutionally capped property taxes," and that both his city and state have balanced budgets and thus low taxes.


Erin McPike is a national political reporter for RealClearPolitics. She can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @ErinMcPike.

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