Holcomb signs South Shore legislation

Gov. Eric Holcomb gives up a thumbs-up recently as he rides a South Shore Line train into the Carroll Avenue station at Michigan City. After disembarking, the Republican ceremonially signed legislation encouraging transit-oriented development near Northwest Indiana commuter rail stations.

Illinois leaders keep greasing the treads to potential growth of the Northwest Indiana economy and population, and we should do all we can to seize these opportunities.

For years, the lower property taxes and close proximity to Chicago have lured Illinoisans to our Region.

The lack of sales tax on most grocery items regularly draws Illinois border dwellers to Northwest Indiana supermarkets.

Now, Cook County has adopted a 1-cent-per-ounce tax on soft drinks, which could only increase the shopping exodus to our state. That tax temporarily has been delayed by a court challenge.

But it's time for all of us to spread the word to our friends, family and business associates in our neighboring state.

Northwest Indiana is a more consumer-friendly place in which to reside and do business.

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We're also a Region becoming increasingly better at marketing ourselves and building for the future. The dedicated Region, state and federal effort behind expanding the South Shore Line commuter rail to Chicago is proof positive we're earnest about growing our population by offering economy-driving incentives.

Our state leaders should continue to billboard our state's qualities to potential new Hoosiers currently residing or operating businesses in Illinois.

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In the past, our state literally has used roadside billboards boasting of Indiana's more business-friendly taxes and overall climate compared to Illinois.

It's a message we all can and should get behind. Many of us may commute to Chicago for its world-class recreation, dining, entertainment and jobs.

But Northwest Indiana also has much to entice Illinoisans to spend money or reside here.

We all can be proud of those strengths. Let’s demonstrate that pride by spreading the news of our greatest attributes.