Council Passes CEDIT Plan

Council Passes CEDIT Plan 
For Release:  Immediate                                                                        Contact:  Mark Wickersham
March 26, 2012                                                                                     260-356-5688
Huntington, Indiana --
The City Council, at its regular meeting on March 13, 2012, unanimously approved the City's Capital Improvement Plan, outlining their plans for the use of CEDIT funds over the next five years.  CEDIT, an acronym for County Economic Development Income Tax, is a tax established County-wide by the Huntington County Council based on citizen's income, to be used for economic development activities.  The tax revenues are then distributed proportionally among the various Municipal Towns and the City of Huntington.  The municipalities are required to have a Capital Improvement Plan in place in order to use the funds. 
CEDIT was originally intended to fund only public infrastructure projects which were required in order to facilitate economic development opportunities.  Amendments enacted over the years by the Indiana General Assembly have in effect allowed local units of government the flexibility to broadly define "economic development" in ways which allow the most flexibility to use the funds.
Elected officials from throughout the County and the City of Huntington have committed to utilizing CEDIT funds primarily as originally intended, however, they have included line items in their various Capital Improvement Plans which provide limited funding opportunties for other priorities within the obligations of municipalities when otherwise unutilized CEDIT funds are available.
"CEDIT grants have played an important part of job creation activities in Huntington County," said Mark Wickersham, Executive Director of Huntington County Economic Development.  "Our elected officials have done a very good job leveraging these limited resources in ways which not only create new jobs in the private sector, but also add tax base to the municipal revenue streams," he added. 
"Hundreds of new jobs and tens of thousands of dollars have been added to the tax base by leveraging CEDIT funds in economic development activities.  The goal, as was explained to the taxpayers when the tax was created in the 1990s, is to use these funds to support private sector investments which result in job creation ultimately resulting in a better standard of living for County residents and a broader tax base for the municipalities," Wickersham said.  "Idealistically I believe it would be better if governments taxed and spent less of our money, but at least in the fiercly competitive economic development world, the realities facing employers, communities, counties, regions and states at this time have given these entities no choice but to 'sink or swim.'  The challenge at this point is to use the funds in ways which have the biggest impact for the Community and return for the taxpayers," concluded Wickersham.