Economic Development Commission

Economic Development Initiatives

Economic Development efforts for the City of Franklin are coordinated by the City's Community Development Department.

2023 Economic Development Commission Members:

Josh DeArmitt- President
Shawn Taylor- Vice President
Eric Leugers-Secretary
H. Lee Hodgen
Lisa Jones

Economic Incentives Overview

Within the state of Indiana, several economic incentives are allowed to be considered to assist companies with either locating to Franklin or expanding their existing businesses.  These economic incentives include economic development revenue bonds, tax increment financing (TIF), lease/purchase agreements, and tax abatements.  When considering a request for any economic incentives, the Economic Development Commission and City Council will consult the criteria outlined for tax abatement requests according to Indiana Code and all requirements of Indiana law.

Tax Abatements:

A tax abatement is a temporary relief of the tax burden on eligible projects in specific areas.  Generally, tax abatement is used (1) as an economic inducement for directed development; (2) to increase the eventual tax base for all government units; (3) to diversify the economy and employment; and (4) to increase non-property tax income to some government units.

Both real property and personal property (manufacturing equipment) are eligible for tax abatement under Indiana law.  In order to receive abatement, the real property must be either an industrial, commercial, or one of three types of housing development projects.  Eligible housing projects include senior citizen housing, housing for the disabled, and housing benefiting low or moderate income populations. Taxes on land and used machinery not new to the State of Indiana are not eligible for tax abatement.

During the first year of the abatement period, 100% of the increase in the evaluation of abateable property in the development area is abated.  Thereafter, the percentage of the abatement declines annually according to the schedules established by Indiana law.

Click here for a tax abatement application.
Economic Development Fees
Economic Development fees are a voluntary contribution made by companies who are receiving a tax abatement. The fee is typically 2% of that year's savings for real property and 5% of that years savings for personal property. As the abatement goes down the fee is reduced. These fees are collected with property taxes and then distributed through a grant process by the EDC for non profit businesses who are working in the area of community and economic development. For a list recipients please click HERE

Vacant Building Tax Abatement

The Vacant Building Tax Abatement Program is available for buildings that (1) are zoned commercial or industrial; (2) is unoccupied for at least one year before the owner of the building or a tenant of the owner occupies the building, as evidenced by a valid certificate of occupancy, paid utility receipts, executed lease agreements, or any other evidence of occupation that the department of local government finance required. 

The deduction is 100% of the assessed value of the building for up to three years. City Council can limit the dollar amount of the deduction to less than this amount if they choose. The vacant building deduction is specifically limited to real estate improvements; therefore personal property can also be abated.

For example, the base value of the building (assessed value when the owner first purchases the property and claims the vacant building deduction) would not be eligible for traditional abatement since there would be no increase in assessed value. City Council could grant the vacant building deduction for the existing property, and traditional tax abatement for any improvements or additions that the new owner makes, resulting in an increase in assessed value. Form 322 is required instead of a Statement of Benefits Form, along with an ERA or possibly an EDTA designation.
Economic Development Revenue Bonds:

These types of bonds are generally tax-exempt bonds with low rates of interest.  The bonds may be used to finance economic development projects such as industrial facilities or multifamily housing complexes.

The use of economic development revenue bonds entails the city acting as a conduit for a) the endorsement of the project, and b) authorization for the respective company to issue the bonds.  These endorsements by the City do not in any way abate, expend, or forgive any tax dollars.

Tax Increment Financing (TIF):

A TIF involves utilizing additional property tax revenue from private development within a designated area for financing public improvements.  The public improvements financed by the TIF are needed to induce new development or are necessitated by new development.

Lease & Purchase Agreements:

A Lease & Purchase Agreement allows a city through its Redevelopment Commission and Authority to purchase real and personal property for an economic development project which is then leased or purchased by the project owner.

Historic Tax Credits:

Income tax credits are the principal governmental subsidy available for privately owned and funded historic preservation activities. Both the federal government and the State of Indiana offer a Rehabilitation Investment Tax Credit (RITC) equaling 20% of rehabilitation costs for qualified work at income-producing properties that are certified historic buildings. A net subsidy equaling 40% of qualified rehabilitation costs may be yielded by participation in both programs. Again, eligible properties include commercial buildings, factories, or even old houses but they must be income producing, such as rental properties. Owner-occupied private residences are eligible only for the Indiana Residential Historic Rehabilitation Credit (RHRC). For further information and regulations, please contact DNR - Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology at (317) 232-4300 or


Other organizations that promote economic development in the City of Franklin:
Aspire Economic Development + Chamber Alliance:

Franklin Development Corporation:

Franklin Chamber of Commerce:

Discover Downtown Franklin:

Johnson County Public Library: