Letter: Luring companies is tax shortfall fix

From: Lawrence W. Wallman, president of the Indiana Chapter International Microelectronics and Packaging Society


Much has been said and written lately about Indiana’s tax revenue projections falling short.

During the tenure of Gov. Mitch Daniels and Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman, Indiana lost 114 companies in the electronics industry and 18,577 jobs. Furthermore, this exodus continues today with Gov. Mike Pence, as another 25 companies and 1,516 jobs have been lost during his first two years in office.

When our electronics industry leaves Indiana, 80 percent move to other high-taxed, high-priced, union states with the three leaders being Illinois, Michigan and Ohio. They are not moving to Mexico and China as our politicians want us to believe.

The average salary in the electronics industry is $93,600. We are chasing out these very high-tax-generating jobs as well as companies with their brain power, leading-edge high technology and generous tax revenues. Interestingly, our politicians and economic development officials still cannot figure out why we are having tax revenue shortfalls.

An easy solution to stop these revenue losses is obvious. Pursue major electronics companies as catalysts to move in here and pick up the slack to rejuvenate this once proud industry in Indiana.

Samsung Electronics recently announced that it would place an innovation center in this country, hiring several thousand engineers by the year 2020. The state of Indiana was nowhere to be seen, as usual.

Instead, Samsung chose to build a 650,000-square-foot office tower in San Jose, California, the most expensive and highest-taxed area in the nation for the electronics industry. Yet Indiana did nothing to tout our available generous electronics engineering talent, low taxes and friendly business climate.

I don’t think it would take a rocket scientist to figure out what our problem is here.