La Porte Urban Enterprise Zone

The La Porte Urban Enterprise Association (LPUEA) is a 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit organization which serves as the governing body of the La Porte Urban Enterprise Zone. The Association acts as a liaison among Zone residents, businesses and the City of La Porte for any development activity and programs that affect the Zone and its residents.

La Porte Urban Enterprise Association Board Members

  • Mike Riehle, Horizon Bank - President
  • Bert Cook, Greater La Porte Economic Development Corporation - Vice President
  • Merle Miller, Zone Resident - Secretary/Treasurer
  • Tracy Connors, American Licorice
  • Marti Swanson, Swanson & Swanson Insurance
  • Cassie Kubaszyk, Zone Resident
  • Laura Cutler, La Porte City Council
  • Frank Cardello, Packaging Logic
  • Father Ian Williams, Sacred Heart Church
  • Jerry Cooley, Labor Representative
  • Matt Saltanovitz, IEDC Representative
  • Thaddeus Cutler, City of LaPorte Downtown Coordinator

Zone Programs and Incentives

The LPUEA offers three categories of incentives:

  • To Zone businesses to encourage investment and reinvestment in their businesses.
  • To individual residents residing and working in the Zone.
  • To lenders to encourage lending to Zone entities.

Investment Deduction -- Zone businesses can receive a tax deduction for the increased value of a business property due to a real and personal property investment by the business. The added valuation may be deducted for up to 10 years. Examples of "qualified investments" include: purchase or construction of new or existing building, purchase of new manufacturing or production equipment, costs associated with repair or modernization of an existing building, or onsite infrastructure improvements.

Investment Cost Credit -- An individual investing equity in a Zone business may be eligible to receive a credit of up to 30% of the investment against their State income tax liability. The percentage of the credit varies depending upon the type of investment, the type of business and the number of jobs created by the investment.

Loan Interest Credit -- An individual or business is entitled to a State tax credit of 5% of interest income earned on loans to Zone businesses or on loans for improvements to real property, including residential property. The loan must directly benefit a Zone business or residence and must result in an increase of the assessed value of the property. It can also apply to rehabilitate, improve or repair a Zone residence.

Employee Expense Credit -- Employers operating a business in the Zone may apply a 10% credit to its State adjusted gross income tax, insurance premium tax and financial institution tax liabilities for the increase in wages paid to qualified Zone resident employees, up to $1,500 per employee

Employee Tax Deduction -- Qualified employees who live and work in the Zone are entitled to a State tax deduction equal to one-half of their adjusted State gross income, up to $7,500. A qualified employee is an individual whose principal place of residence is in the Zone, who works 50% of their time for a Zone business and has at least 90% of their service directly related to the employer's Zone business

Business Grant Program -- Zone businesses are eligible for a matching grant program offered throughout the calendar year. Grants are given up to 50% of the total project cost or $10,000 and can be applied to most exterior improvements. Note--Roofs are not considered in this program. Applications must be received by the 3rd of the month to be considered at that months Board Meeting.

Retail and Restaurant Grant Program -- This program is available to qualified retail and restaurant businesses new to or expanding in the Zone. This rent subsidy program is designed to assist with lease payments up to the maximum assistance of $5,000. In order to be eligible the participant must pay the security deposit and first month's rent and meet with local Small Business Development Center representatives prior to LPUEA approval.


For more information on any of these programs please contact:

Mary Jane Thomas
Urban Enterprise Zone Consultant
219-210-1857
mjthomas2027@gmail.com