Technology park: Bloomington OKs $50K for IU Public Policy Institute to help with maintaining certification

At its regular Monday meeting, Bloomington’s five-member redevelopment commission approved a $49,825 agreement with Indiana University’s Public Policy Institute, to help meet state requirements for reporting about the city’s certified technology park (CTP).

Bloomington’s CTP is a 65-acre chunk of downtown land located north and west of city hall. The CTP includes the Trades District, a 12-acre area that is currently the focus of redevelopment efforts.

The information, which IUPPI is supposed help report to the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) by Oct. 13, includes among other things: the number and names of businesses in the CTP; employment, payroll, and average wage for each active business in the CTP; the cumulative amount of capital investment made by each business for the last year, and the last three years.

The reporting requirement is part of legislation affecting CTPs statewide, which was enacted earlier this year by the General Assembly. The new law [SB 271] affects CTPs like Bloomington’s, which have reached their lifetime $5-million cap for sales and income tax revenue shared back from the state.

After reaching the cap, a CTP was previously allowed to share in up to $100,000 a year in revenue returned by the state.

The new legislation allows CTPs to receive more—up to $250,000 a year—but adds some reporting requirements.

According to the resolution adopted by Bloomington’s RDC on Monday, Bloomington’s CTP was established in 2005. The RDC is tapping tax increment finance (TIF) revenue to pay for the work to be done by IUPPI.

Based just on records available from Indiana’s department of local government finance (DLGF) and the city of Bloomington’s online financial system, it’s not clear how much money Bloomington’s CTP has generated after it reached the $5-million cap.

DLGF records go back to 2011. They show a similar pattern for Bloomington’s CTP fund every year through 2022. The CTP fund balance ratchets slowly upward every year by a few hundred dollars, with no expenditures.

In 2011, the receipts to Bloomington CTP fund were $241. In 2022 the receipts were $735. The year-end Bloomington’s CTP fund balance that’s shown in DLGF records grew from $52,311 in 2011 to $56,534 in 2022.

Bloomington’s own online financial system shows $441,737 in state shared revenue to the CTP fund in 2016. In 2021, that system shows $100,000 in state shared revenue to the CTP. But other than those two years, there’s nothing recorded form stated shared revenue to the CTP fund.

At Monday’s RDC meeting, interim director of Bloomington’s economic and sustainability department Holly Warren said that the IEDC’s upcoming reporting deadline of Sept. 29 had been negotiated for two weeks later. The information is now due by Oct. 13.

Andrea de la Rosa, who is assistant director for small business development, told the RDC that if she had a staff of 10 people under her, a third-party would not need to be contracted for the work that IU’s Public Policy Institute is doing. De la Rosa does not have any staff working under her in the city’s economic and sustainable development department.

One thought on “Technology park: Bloomington OKs $50K for IU Public Policy Institute to help with maintaining certification

  1. Interesting that John Fernandez is highly involved in the development of the Trades District but is ALSO apparently on the Board of Directors for the IUPPI, which was just hired to do this project for the Trades District… seems disclosure worthy to me…

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