The voters sent a message calling for lower taxes in Marion County and now the Democrats, with two months left before they lose control of the City-County Council, may act to reduce taxes.
"We're certainly researching what the possibilities are at this point, but we do believe that there needs to be a conversation," said Councillor, Joanne Sanders (D).
At issue is the 65% hike in the local income tax that prompted protests at the council meeting in August.
The first 20% goes to property tax relief and is untouchable, the remaining 45% is another matter. The council can't vote to repeal the tax increase but it could sunset
it, meaning it would expire next August, forcing the new Republican majority to either vote to continue it or do without the money it brings in.
Newly-annointed CCC President Robert Cockrum is not happy with this talk. "The money goes to public safety, touted as a real priority in the new administration." "Bob Cockrum (R), the man picked to become the new council president in January, says the Democrats should just bow out and let the GOP take over," Shella reports. "The budget that was prepared for next year was in balance with the revenue and so forth and I think it's just playing games to do anything at this point in time," Cockrum said.
Frankly, I think the sunset idea is a perfectly sound idea, although I think an October 1, 2008 sunset date, one year from the date of the enactment of the tax increase, makes more sense. That gives the new council and Mayor-elect Greg Ballard sufficient time to put up or shut up on the pledge of downsizing government to reduce our tax burden. If it keeps their feet to the fire to keep their campaign promises, I'm all for it.