House says yes to Macer plan to penalize corporations that abandon Indiana

March 1, 2016 Karlee Macer

For immediate release:
March 1, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana House members today agreed with State Rep. Karlee Macer (D-Indianapolis) that corporations like Carrier that abandon our state to move to foreign countries should face severe penalties for putting Hoosiers out of work.

By a 60-34 margin, representatives approved an amendment authored by Macer that would enable local units of government to claw back property tax incentives granted to a company that leaves our state and prevent them from taking any more advantage of corporate tax breaks enacted by state government. The amendment was attached to Senate Bill 308, which is now eligible for final consideration in the House.

“Today’s vote represents a chance for the members of the Indiana General Assembly to tell companies that they do not have the right to take full advantage of taxpayer-funded assistance to locate in our state, only to abandon us to move out of the country when they get a better deal for their shareholders,” Macer said. “They cannot do it without repaying us for some of what they have taken.”

In February, United Technologies announced it would be closing two Indiana Carrier plants and move those operations to Mexico, a move that would put some 2,100 Hoosiers out of work.

“Considering that federal, state and local governments have provided millions of dollars in taxpayer-funded assistance to Carrier and United Technologies in recent years, only to see the company make it clear they intend to take our money and run to Mexico, I believe it is imperative for our state to take the lead in telling these companies that they owe us for what they have taken from us,” Macer said. “They simply cannot get away and just walk out the door.

“Carrier’s Indianapolis plant is located in the 92nd House District that I represent,” she continued. “More than 1,400 people who work in that plant are losing their jobs, just so the company can squeeze some more profits from its operations, either by using cheaper labor or machines. I know many of the men and women whose lives and families will be permanently disrupted by this decision. They want to know why it happened. More importantly, they want to know what can be done to keep this from happening again.”

Macer said her proposal reflects a growing public dissatisfaction with companies that insist upon taxpayer breaks, then show little compunction about relocating elsewhere for greater breaks.

“We continue to lag behind in the types of good-paying jobs that can enable Hoosiers to provide for their families, and those efforts continue to suffer when companies take our money and run,” Macer said. “Today, Democrats and Republicans in the Indiana House joined together to say they cannot do what they want without giving us something back.

“I realize that we still have a long way to go before this legislative session is over, and I’m sure there are corporate interests who will work behind the scenes to get this provision taken out of the bill,” she added. “I will keep a very close eye on Senate Bill 308 to make sure that taxpayer protections that are demanded by the public remain alive.”