Indiana was ranked fifth overall among the top states for doing business, first for its rail and highway accessibility, and second as a leader in economic recovery. 

A “push for speed and certainty” in all aspects of state government is what helps job growth here, according to Mitch Roob, Indiana Secretary of Commerce and CEO of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. 

“When people invest in Indiana, they know their taxes are unlikely to rise due to the certainty fostered by maintaining a balanced budget and a low tax burden,” he says. “Individuals and businesses also receive speedy service on everything from vehicle registration…to environmental licensing…In Indiana, we realize we exist in a world marketplace where prospective [ROI] on personal financial capital must be at world levels. We recognize that we have to become a world-class location where world-class companies will create world-class opportunities for world-class Hoosiers.”

Indiana already is known as the “Crossroads of America” due to its ideal geographic location (within a half-day’s drive of over 20 major metros) and notable transportation assets (eight interstate highways; more than 11,000 highway miles; 4,165 miles of active railway tracks; the world’s second-largest FedEx hub, and more). 

Not to rest on its laurels, in 2005 the state launched an aggressive 10-year, $10 billion transportation plan (“Major Moves”) to significantly improve and expand Indiana’s highway infrastructure. The long-term lease of the Indiana Toll Road provided $2.6 billion of funding for over 200 new construction and 200 major preservation projects. Amazingly, no tax increases are called for to fund the program, already well under way.

Indiana wants to attract more companies in the biotech, automotive, new energy, and defense sectors. State programs recently implemented to foster a pro-business climate include new legislation decreasing corporate income tax from 8.5 to 6.5 percent; a property tax relief program that cut property taxes by one third (and established a constitutional cap on tax rates for all property classes); and an R&D tax credit equal to 15 percent of a company’s first $1 million of qualifying R&D expenditures. 

Not surprisingly, Indiana’s GDP grew 4.6 percent in 2010; well above the national rate of 2.6 percent and at a clip placing it as the state with the third-highest growth rate in the nation (U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis). 

Governor Mitch Daniels is clear about what it takes to steer Indiana through these hard economic times, and the message is quite different than what is coming from Washington, D.C. “Government does not create jobs,” he has said, “it only create[s] the conditions that make jobs more or less likely.”

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