Democratic candidates for Governor and Lieutenant Governor Jill Long Thompson and Dennie Oxley stopped by the Banner Graphic Tuesday afternoon as part of their "Hoosier Hometown Tour."
They said their tour was a chance for the two of them to bring their campaign closer to Hoosiers.
"We think too many people are being left out. We believe every county, every community and every individual matters," said Long Thompson.
Both candidates said the tour has given them the opportunity to discuss several hot topics with Hoosiers.
Thompson believes the state's tax structure needs reform. In addition, she said healthcare costs must be reduced and the rate of high school dropouts statewide needed to be addressed.
Oxley added that, if elected, the two of them planned on working with both political parties on a state level.
Long Thompson says if elected Governor, she would work to develop a "tier" system to guide the state's economic development efforts.
"Indiana has a number of communities, both rural and urban, that are experiencing high rates of unemployment and round after round of layoffs and factory closings," said Long Thompson.
"I want to provide local communities with the tools necessary to be successful," she added.
Long Thompson talked about her proposal to create, attract and retain good-paying jobs in the state's most economically distressed areas. She believes her three-tier system will help improve the state's economic development efforts.
Her policy includes overhauling the state's tax structure and placing specific, performance-based incentives into the states tax code.
These would be available to all businesses that offer their employees healthcare, pay a living wage, invest in new technology, and increase productivity and work to minimize their environmental impact.
The tier plan includes aiding targeted business sectors that build or expand in the most economically distressed areas by creating additional tax incentives and credits.
This would include manufacturing, telecommunications, information technology, research and development, warehouse distribution, life sciences and tourism.
In her plan, Thompson would provide a $3,500 tax credit per new job when five jobs are created and a seven percent tax credit for eligible business property expenditures.
Tier two would offer $2,500 tax credit per new job with a requirement to create at least 10 jobs and a five percent tax credit for eligible business property expenditures of more than $1 million.
Tier three would offer a $1,000 tax credit per new job with a requirement to create at least 15 jobs and a 3.5 percent tax credit for eligible business property expenditures of more than $2 million.
In order to receive the credit, companies would have to offer employees health insurance and pay at least 50 percent of the premiums, pay above the county average wage, cannot owe back taxes and cannot have received a significant environmental violation notice from the state within the last five years.
"This is an efficient and economical approach to growing and sustaining our economy, and one that will provide assistance to the people that need it most," said Long Thompson.
Thompson and Oxley both say they feel their chances are good as they head into the November election.