WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WISH) – Governor Mike Pence signed a bill into law Tuesday that will lower corporate taxes in Indiana and it may be no coincidence that the governor will take part in a major jobs announcement on Wednesday.
GE Aviation is planning a new manufacturing facility near Lafayette to build jet engines, and a factor in the decision to come here was the Indiana tax climate.
When it comes to business investment, that climate got better when the governor signed the bill that will cut the corporate tax rate from 6.5 percent to 4.9 percent over the next eight years.
It also gives counties the option to reduce the business personal property tax.
“In a state that is known for making things,” said Pence, “having a tax on technology and machinery and equipment just doesn’t make sense.”
“It just shows the community that we’re not sitting idle, we’re not sitting on our hands,” said Commerce Secretary Victor Smith. “We’re always looking for ways to improve the place for investment.”
But the GE decision is also tied to support from Purdue where GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt appeared along with University President Mitch Daniels last October.
“We have a huge amount of Purdue grads,” said Immelt at the time, “and so to the faculty that are in the room I want to say thanks for what you do.”
The governor wouldn’t confirm specifics of the GE deal but he also had trouble hiding his excitement.
“Tomorrow’s announcement with GE Aviation is among a series of stories in Indiana we’re excited to be a part of,” he said.
One state official called the GE deal Mike Pence’s “Honda” in reference to the Honda Assembly plant that Mitch Daniels lured to Greensburg.
Initial indications are that it’s not that big. Honda has 2,000 employees.
But it’s a major announcement, nonetheless.