From 1999 to 2004, the expansion added about 9,000 new Lilly jobs in Indianapolis and secured more work for the company's 7,000 vendors in the state.
Since 2004, Lilly has shed 2,000 jobs and never reached the target of adding 9,500 new jobs in Indianapolis by 2009. That target was set in 2004 when Lilly applied for tax breaks and incentives totaling $1.6 billion in exchange for its expansion.
Scaling back now has little to do with the recession. Lechleiter said the restructuring would have happened anyway, to speed up the pipeline, which has sputtered in recent years.
Spending on prescription drugs has been impacted very little by the economic downturn. Lilly's Lechleiter readily admits that these latest job cuts have nothing to do with the economy but is simply a restructuring by the company. Roland Dorson, the Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce President who is always lobbying for higher taxes and more incentives to lure more low-paying hospitality jobs to the City, totally understands Lilly's move. "They've got to do these things to prepare for the future," Dorson told the Star.
It is obvious that Lilly has completely defaulted on the job creation pledge it made to the City in order to win $1.6 billion in public subsidies. The man who brokered that deal on behalf of city taxpayers, Bart Peterson, is now a highly-compensated senior vice president for the company. Now, if you're one of those Lilly workers who loses his job and is unable to pay the property taxes on your home, is the government going to forgive your payment of property taxes? No. The government will expect you to pay every dime it is owed. Shouldn't Lilly be held accountable for failing to fulfill its promise to the City and asked to repay its incentives? Yes. Will it be held accountable? Of course not.
And then there's this little statute:
Forfeiture of incentive
Sec. 3. If a recipient of an economic development incentive fails to comply with the wage and benefit levels that the recipient proposed or promised to obtain an economic development incentive, as determined by the entity awarding the economic development incentive, the recipient forfeits the economic development incentive as of the date of the determination.