Community Development
A new valuable online data platform - Rural Indiana Stats - is now available to individuals, agencies and organizations in Indiana that want access to a unique mix of data on Indiana's 92 counties. The website, a product of a partnership between the Purdue Center for Regional Development and the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs, offers access to more than 80 county-level variables.
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Consider the eternal questions. Why is the sky blue? Why is the grass green? Why are some Indiana local government property tax rates high, while others are low? Let's leave the answers to the first two to actual scientists. I'll take a stab at that last one.
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The General Assembly is in session, and the big issue this year looks to be road funding. How will we raise the additional $1 billion or more that we need to maintain our roads?
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Forecasting is hard. It's a guess about the future. You try to make an informed, internally consistent guess - but the operative word is "guess." People make plans based on your forecast. And then comes the embarrassing moment when the future becomes the present and they see how wrong you were.
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Ten Indiana school districts offered property tax referenda on November 8, to finance buildings or budgets. That was the most for a November election since 2010. More referenda are offered during elections in May, probably because 69 percent of all May referenda have passed since 2010. Only 39 percent of November referenda have passed in that time. On November 8, 2016, nine out of 10 school referenda passed. It was a November surprise. Why did it happen?
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The Indiana General Assembly revised the farmland assessment formula during its 2016 session. Let's figure out what that might do to farmland assessments and property taxes.
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Is it August already? While I'm gearing up for my economics class at Purdue, it's a good time to take a look at the economy. Got to offer those eager young people the latest word!

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