This makes good economic sense. The Indiana Economic Development Corporation is handing out $345,000 to Mainstreet Property Group, a real estate investment company controlled by the family of State Rep. Eric Turner (R-Cicero), to relocate its company headquarters from the rural community of Cicero on the northeastern edge of Hamilton County further south in Hamilton County to Carmel where the company is leasing office space in the Clay Terrace Development. The company, which specializes in developing long-term care facilities, promises to create 25 jobs, which works out to about $14,000 per job.
The AP's Tom Lobianco is reporting that Gov. Mike Pence has ordered the Indiana Economic Development Corporation to hold up release of any funds to Turner's company pending a review by its board of directors. "Pence said Monday he asked the IEDC's board of directors to review the state aid offered to Mainstreet Property Group," Lobianco writes.
Last year, the Indianapolis City-County Council approved the issuance of $7.5 million in revenue bonds for the benefit of Turner's company to build a long-term care facility on the city's east side within a TIF district, which means no property tax revenues will be generated by the publicly-financed project for at least the next 20 years. Rep. Turner also used his legislative position to push legislative approval of the welfare privatization deal for FSSA during the Daniels administration, which turned into a financial debacle that cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars. After the deal was inked we learned that a former school building purchased by Turner's business in Marion was being leased under a multi-year, multi-million dollar contract to operate a call center run by ACS/Xerox as part of the welfare privatization deal. If you like corporate welfare for the privileged few, Indiana is the place to live.
Here is State Rep. Turner's response to questions about his involvement in the deal:
“I don’t know anything about whether they’re getting any state or local aid. I know about the move, but my son runs the company, he’s the president and CEO,” Turner said.
Asked if he saw anything wrong with any company started by a lawmaker or a lawmaker’s immediate family getting state aid, he said many part-time legislators work in jobs or invest in businesses that seek business or aid from the state.
“My son is operating an expanding business and looking for new space for the expanding business and hoping to hire new employees,” the House speaker [pro tem] said.