Giving “Hoosier Hospitality” a run for its money was SB 101, otherwise known as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, or RFRA.
You may have heard of it.
This law ensures that in specific circumstances, a business owner’s religious beliefs are solid ground for refusing to serve a customer.
The state’s passage of this law — set to take effect on July 1 — created a caustic debate recently that resonated nationwide. News cycles spin faster than ever these days, but this one grew a following and lasted for weeks. The list of companies, schools and organizations that took a public stance on this law is a long one, and the entire controversy cast a dark cloud over the state.
Newkirk Realty is not adding to the discussion about the merits of the law, but we do recognize that the debate about it may have given the impression that Indiana, and Indianapolis, are not places one would want to live. However, the opposite is actually true! This happens to be a phenomenal place to live, work, buy a home and raise a family. Here are a few facts:
• Cost of living: Indiana consistently ranks as one of the states’ with a very low cost of living index, around 90.7 depending on which report you find. Here’s a ranking from USA Today where Indiana landed at #5.
• Central Indiana is chock-full of communities that shine. Take Carmel, for example – last year topping the Safest Suburbs in the US list. (And Fishers made #2!)
• Indiana is ranked #1 for state business tax climateMonument Circle, the heart of downtown Indy. Photo: Josh Humble Photography
The state’s capitol — often described as a big city with small town charm — is collecting more and more top rankings every month. Here are a few:
• This was interesting: Indy made the “52 Places to go in 2014” — a list put out annually by the New York Times. Yes, it’s a year old. But this is a world ranking!
• Indy topped the Best Convention City, USA Today list. The talented staff at Visit Indy, the city’s convention and visitor’s bureau, have worked hard to attract events to Indianapolis. Riding the wave of a wildly successful stint hosting the Super Bowl in 2013, the city has garnered even more positive attention for its downtown amenities.
• Sports are big in Indy, and the city has done very well bolstering its image as an amateur sports capitol. But Indianapolis has its share of world-class arts and attractions too, ranking #2 last year by Business Insider for the best cities in the US for culture. And it’s no wonder. Indy is home to the world’s largest museum of kids, (The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis), a world-class zoo and art museum, (The Indianapolis Zoo and the Indianapolis Museum of Art,) the world’s largest children’s choir, (The Indianapolis Children’s Choir,) one of only a handful of full-time orchestras in the US (the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra,) a top-ranked film festival (the Heartland Film Festival,) and much more.
Even the Indianapolis International Airport has won numerous awards, and the Indy 500 continues to top the bucket list of the sporting events people most want to attend. Arts, sports, business, travel, taxes — there are lists for everything. But a pattern is emerging with Indiana and Indianapolis, both appearing on so many different lists and near the top of so many favorable rankings: It’s because this is an awesome place to live.
And, if you’re considering doing just that? Give one of our agents a call. They’d be happy to help you make that happen!