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Expensive Gifts For The Rest Of The State, But A Lump Of Coal For Northwest Indiana

GiftboxThe Times of Northwest Indiana gave the Indiana Economic Development Corp. some negative ink for Christmas:

"A state agency created to lure employers to Indiana and keep them here handed out more than $158 million in incentives and tax breaks through November, but not a single dime went to Lake or Porter counties.

"The seven-county Northwest Indiana region received $1.9 million, a fraction of the $158.7 million the Indiana Economic Development Corp. dispersed statewide. The state's five other economic zones all fared far better than Northwest Indiana. The central region did best, attracting $58 million. That includes $19 million for Marion County, or 10 times the bounty for the entire northwest region, which covers Lake, Porter, LaPorte, Jasper, Newton, Pulaski and Starke counties.

"Michael 'Mickey' Maurer, president of the development corporation, defended the dearth of dollars for Northwest Indiana.

"'A lot of that has to do with working deals that are in the pipeline,' he said."

For their part, Northwest Indiana Dems were a bit surprised by the IEDC's lackluster performance.

State Rep. Bob Kuzman: "I supported the IEDC, because it was sold to me as an economic development tool for Northwest Indiana. But, obviously, at this point, Northwest Indiana has been shut out."

Hammond Mayor Tom McDermott: "That's unbelievable. I had no idea."

But the state maintains it has a bundle o' deals in the pipeline. Except not for you, Mayor McDermott. You just hang out in Hammond and figure out how to get economic development moving without our help. He who criticizes the administration gets no help from the administration.

As for Mickey, well, he'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today. (Revise your talking points, man. You can't go around telling everyone under the sun that you're doing the most awesomest job ever at economic development and then leave an entire section of the state out in the storm.)

Bring it on, NWI Times editorial board.

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