Many factors contribute to the level of economic vitality within a city and its geographical region. Some factors, including distance to other markets, proximity to certain modes of transportation (water, rail, air and interstate), federal/state tax policies, and yearly weather patterns, are essentially outside a city's control. That said, and based on a community's priorities and how those priorities are executed, a city can have a substantial impact on the health of its economy and business climate. A community that invests and maintains its roads and utility infrastructure; values and supports education; provides transportation options for its citizens, and, fosters a quality of life that attracts and retains a skilled workforce, will be well positioned to retain, attract and expand business activity.
Communities compete for business investment and within the context of maintaining a high level of community economic vitality and offering businesses a supportive environment to operate and thrive, public incentives are often part of any conversation. Public incentives supplement a good business decision and acknowledge the simple reality that as communities compete to retain, attract and expand business opportunities, some financial inducement is often necessary. Public incentives are not a crutch for an otherwise bad business decision.
The City of Valparaiso begins any incentive analysis with the principle that in order to maintain the level of public services and an overall quality of life that our citizens expect and deserve, everyone must contribute. Public incentives are an investment into the health and sustainability of its business community. When appropriate,
Any questions about any public incentives should be directed to the City's Economic Development Director -- Patrick Lyp.
Below is an overview of Local Public and Private Incentives available. The State of Indiana offers several incentives based on capital investment and job creation.
The Valparaiso City Council is authorized to phase-in the payment of real and personal property taxes of a business investing in Valparaiso. An interested business is encouraged to contact the City's Economic Development Director, Patrick Lyp, to discuss eligibility requirements and the application process. Although not exhaustive, factors that are considered as part of the tax abatement process include: (i) the company making the request; (ii) the amount/type of the proposed investment; (iii) the number of jobs being created (and/or preserved) by the investment; (iv) the types of jobs being created (and/or preserved) and the salaries; (iv) the possibility of future investment by the company in Valparaiso; (v) collateral benefits to other local businesses; and, if applicable, (vii) the history of the company’s compliance with past tax abatement requests.
Click Here for a Real Property Tax Abatement Form
Click Here for a Personal Property Tax Abatement Form
Click Here for an outline and analysis of tax abatements approved by the City Council since 2014 here.
Tax Increment Financing (TIF)
The Valparaiso Redevelopment Commission is authorized to designate certain areas within the City as "allocation areas". From within the designated areas, the Redevelopment Commission may capture and reinvest tax revenue for certain allowed projects. The Commission will evaluate proposed projects and when appropriate, invest resources to maximize the redevelopment of a designated area. An interested business is encouraged to contact the City's Economic Development Director, Patrick Lyp, to discuss eligibility requirements and the application process.
Click Here to see a map of the City and the identified allocation areas
Façade Improvement Grant
The Valparaiso City Council and Redevelopment Commission recognize the importance of the City's outward appearance and its impact on economic development. Since 20__, the City has funded projects relating to the outward appearance of buildings in certain designated areas of Valparaiso. The façade Improvement Grant is a 100% matching grant awarding up to $25,000 towards an eligible project. An interested business is encouraged to contact Tyler Kent, City Planner, to discuss eligibility requirements and the application process.
Click Here for guidelines and application
Click Here for photos of previous grant projects
Fire Suppression Grant
The City's downtown has been the beneficiary of substantial public and private investment over the last twelve years. A fire in the downtown could have a devastating impact. Although beneficial and encouraged, Indiana law does not require pre-existing buildings to install fire suppression systems. In recognition of the substantial cost of integrating a fire suppression system into an existing building, the City is willing to assist property owners. Although funds are limited, an interested property owner is encouraged to contact Bill Oeding, City Administrator, to discuss eligibility requirements and the application process.
Click here for guidelines and application
Click Here for photos of previous grant projects
Underground Parking Grant
Although a good problem, the City recognizes the challenges of parking in the downtown. These challenges will only increase as downtown business/retail increases and more people choose to live in the downtown area. When possible, the City encourages property owners to incorporate creative ways to maximize on-site parking for employees, customers and residents. When practical, onsite underground parking is preferred and the City will discuss possible financial incentives. Although projects are considered on a case-by-case basis and funds are currently not budgeted, an interested property owner is encouraged to contact the City's Economic Development Director, Patrick Lyp, to discuss eligibility requirements and the application process.
The City and VEDC recognize the importance of having relevant information available for commercial property that is listed for sale. Such may include a Phase I Environmental Report; a current survey; or other report/data on the property. The VEDC will consider requests to partner with brokers and property owners to place commercial property in Valparaiso in the best position to sell and be developed. An interested broker or property owner is encouraged to contact the City's Economic Development Director, Patrick Lyp, to discuss eligibility requirements and the application process.
Historic Downtown Liquor License Program
In 2005, the Indiana state legislature authorized the Indiana Alcoholic Beverage Commission (ABC) to issue up to ten additional liquor licenses in City's downtown. Applicants work with the City's Economic Development Director to seek approval from the Downtown Liquor License Committee. Approved applicants must then secure a recommendation from the City Council and final approval from the ABC. The Downtown Liquor License Committee consists of four members appointed by the Mayor. Although all ten licenses are currently in use, the City suggests that interested restaurant entrepreneurs to contact the City's Economic Development Director, Patrick Lyp, to discuss eligibility requirements and the application process.
Click Here for a map of the Downtown Historic District and restaurants currently issued an Historic Downtown Liquor License
Click Here for Historic Downtown Liquor License guidelines and application