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IU Public Policy Institute’s $50,000 project approved by the Bloomington Redevelopment Commission



Bloomington, Indiana – The IU Public Policy Institute will receive roughly $50,000 from the Bloomington Redevelopment Commission to assist in recertifying the city’s 65-acre certified technology park.

A piece of land in Bloomington’s downtown known as the certified technology park has high-tech companies like Dimension Mill, a nonprofit entrepreneurship center and coworking space. According to Tom Guevara, director of the IU Public Policy Institute, the technology park is able to use the sales tax and growth in payroll produced inside the park to fund and develop the park.

The certifications, which last four years, allow the technology park to levy sales tax on its participants and use it to initiatives. Bloomington is currently submitting an application for a level two certification, which enables them to keep getting paid.

“The city is required to recertify or apply for certification, and if they do it in a timely manner, they’re also able to potentially collect even more incoming sales tax, which they tend to use to fund various projects in the technology park area,” Guevara said.

A lifetime $5 million cap is imposed by Senate Bill 271 on taxes gathered for technology parks like the one in Bloomington. The technology park in Bloomington will be able to receive an additional $250,000 per year for park improvements now that the cap has been reached.

“It’s sort of like doing your taxes,” Andrea Delarosa, the Assistant Director of Small Business Development for the City of Bloomington, said. “They already know how much money is within the park, we just have to prove it and then we get all of that back. This year is different because now it’s an analysis and an impact study to see how effective the tech park has been.”

At the end of July, the state sent a letter to Bloomington requiring that the city provide all the data required for recertification to the Indiana Economic Development Corporation by the end of September. According to Guevara, Bloomington asked for a two-week delay, which was granted.

The city has to gather information on the companies in the technology park by the revised deadline of October 13. The city will conduct a survey of enterprises to determine their classification, count the number of employees, and record average pay. The performance of the technology park over the last three years will be assessed using these data.

Delarosa said that the IU Public Policy Institute will assist the city in gathering this information and submitting it to the IEDC prior to the due date. The state additionally mandates that a third party compile a study and report on the region’s economic impact.

Despite not knowing which initiatives the city of Bloomington will finance with the funds raised, Guevara said he thinks improvements made to the technology park will help IU teachers, staff innovators, new businesses, and students.

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