South Bend approves measure that ties tax breaks to higher wages


The South Bend Common Council approved a measure that would change the rules for how companies get tax abatements.

It would require companies that ask for a tax abatement for at least three years have a minimum wage that matches the rate for city employees.

Right now, it's $8.20 per hour. The mayor wants to raise it to $10.10 by 2018.

“I think it's really important, I think it’s a big step going in the direction of where the mayor asked us a year ago when he signed that diversity inclusion initiative,” said bill sponsor, Regina Williams-Preston.

It will take effect on January 1. It would only affect new abatements.

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg also introduced the city budget. He says it will include $387-million.

It includes $84-million for public safety, $95-million for utilities and $91-million for economic development.

The mayor wants to focus on safe communities, a strong economy, public spaces and well?planned infrastructure.

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