Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Ballard Opposes Repealing Peterson Tax Increase

In an interview with the Star editorial board staff, Mayor-elect Greg Ballard announced he never supported a repeal of the 65% increase in the county option income tax increase, which angered voters this past summer, along with the record increase in property taxes, leading to his upset win over Bart Peterson. The Star's Brendan O'Shaughnessy writes:

Mayor-elect Greg Ballard said today he will not push to rescind a 65-percent increase in the county income tax that took effect in October.

Ballard said he wanted to open up the city’s financial books to public and staff scrutiny to study opportunities to make spending cuts.

“Until we do that, it wouldn’t be prudent” to rescind the tax, Ballard told The Indianapolis Star’s editorial board.

However, he said cuts in city government or the $90 million public safety spending plan the income tax funded could allow parts of the tax to be reconsidered down the road.The tax provoked heavy criticism this year, but Ballard noted he never said he would repeal it.

Ballard said he planned to ask state officials to consider long-term police and firefighter pensions as a statewide issue. Covering the pension liability accounted for a third of the increase. “I think that (fixing the liability) was done too quickly, about two years too quick,” Ballard said.

And what led Mayor-elect Ballard to reach his conclusion? O'Shaughnessy explains:

At today’s meeting, Ballard brought two thick folders representing part of the research his transition team has been doing into how local government operations work. He said he has been busy choosing his top leadership team and getting briefed on challenges and opportunities in 25 areas of city government. There are about 150 volunteers working in those teams, he said.

And that would include 150 volunteers working on those teams who had nothing to do with his election this past November. The team is filled with lawyers from the big law firms who worked against Ballard's election, many of whom don't even claim a residence in the City of Indianapolis. When the people who elected you get shut of your transition team, this is the result you achieve. It's business as usual. I frankly don't even know why I wasted my time on this past election. It's proven to be such a big disappointment.

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ballard has forgotten the people who helped him. He is a lot like Peterson. Forget the little people.
Get ready for the screwing of a lifetime!

Anonymous said...

Gary, the nonresident members of the transition team is absolutely true. Hell, executive team members Joe Loftus and Luke Messer live in Carmel and Shelbyville, respectively. The number of out-of-city transition team members quickly multiplied when the big laws firms were allowed to stack the deck. If these out-of-towners like us paying the highest income tax in the state so well, perhaps we should replace Peterson's tax increase with a commuter tax and see how much they like it.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the fine new mayor will learn to just smile alot and say everything is fine. That is what Peterson did, and it worked for the sheep.

Or, we could wait until Ballard actually takes office.

Zappatista said...

Me thinks that this is EXACTLY why I changed my major from Political Science my sophmore year at IU. It was disgusting. I remember so vividly taking a "Republican Control of Congress" class the year that they took it back over. No matter what I wrote, said or thought I was not going to get a desirable grade. It wouldn't matter either way (party wise), and you wonder why the youth of America are jaded. I am not the youth anymore, but damn, the system just doesn't work the way it was intended and we (society) just continue to rationalize what is happening. The system is based on perception, that's it. The best candidate in the world will be thrown under the bus if he had any transgressions that where not hidden so well, NO ONE could find them........tangent...yes. sorry.

Anonymous said...

Abdul is on his radio show trashing you for criticizing the mayor, a point he got to after saying his good friend Carl Brizzi was going to be a guest on his show tomorrow. I want to know how much Tom John is paying Abdul as a member of his law firm to serve as his mouthpiece on WXNT and the blogosphere. Abdul trashed Peterson and the Democrat council every day on his show for passing the tax increase and now he's defending it. Abdul is so full of crap.

Anonymous said...

At least Ballard was against Peterson's tax increase before he was for it.

Anonymous said...

Why is Abdul trashing Mayor Peterson? You have me confused. Could you explain that , I missed his radio show.

B said...

Not only that, Ballard's transition team includes people who worked at high levels ON Peterson's campaign!

Anyway... interesting Ballard's "Plan" is to get the state to help (some would say "bail out") the city.

The approach of Indiana's legislature, both R & D, has been trending for the past decade toward the State pushing things down to the local level to requires counties to raise taxes to fund things. I.E.-- your solution to our inventory tax cut is you need to raise local income taxes. We're reducing Prop Tax Replacement Credit-- you'll get the blame for raising local taxes.

Anonymous said...

Gary-- you expected to be part of this team, right? I mean, are you in that tight with the Repub bosses of Marion County? Heck, they didn't even think he could win...

I am not surprised by this turn of events, but then I am a jaded cynic.

I have come to learn to help politicians to find a way to cover their asses/ see good for themselves in my proposals, so that I can get what I need to protect the people I care about. Rarely will you see someone fall on his sword for the right reasons. THAT would truly inspire me to support someone.

And by the way, don't read this election as a big plus for Repubs.. it was ANTI-the people in office. That can just as easily go the other way next time.

Anonymous said...

AI,
Seems to me like you got your little feelers hurt somewhere between election night and when Ballard picked his transition team. He's not even been sworn in yet for christs sake and you have been cutting him off at the knees every chance you get. Wait until he's in office and actually does something before you get your panties in a bunch. If you don't like what he does then, let him have it. At least that way you won't sound like the kid that took his ball and went home.

Advance Indiana said...

"At least that way you won't sound like the kid that took his ball and went home."

That would require me to walk away from a game of which I was never a part. If the man wants to slam the door on the people who elected him, then fine. Just don't expect us to sit on the sidelines and cheer for you. It ain't going to happen my friend.

Anonymous said...

When Ballard and his "staff" failed to acknowledge those of us who hauled yard signs and made financial contributions to him in the early months of his campaign it told me a lot about what kind of a man Ballard is.
I'm not surprised at this point with the direction he's going or the people he has surrounded himself with.
It's painfully apparent that integrity and gratitude are not his makeup.
Who do I call to ask for a refund of my money.

Samson said...

Don't be so negative. The city has an existing budget with obligations that requires the tax increase. Essentially Peterson has already spent it for this biennium. I still expect Ballard to repeal the increase; it's just that he can't do it right away as Peterson has already promised the funds. Let's hold him accountable if he hasn't cut taxes before his term is up, but give him the benefit of the doubt now (before he has even assumed office).

Anonymous said...

anon 11:22, Didn't you get the formed, xeroxed thank you letter like I got in the mail yesterday from Ballard?

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Ballard sold his soul to the devil. But, I'm being charitable. Maybe he never had a soul.

Anonymous said...

11:58, No I didn't. You must be in tight with Brizzi,Durham and the rest of their ilk to have received a thank you so quickly.
So much for Ballard's statement that the days of country club politics were gone.
I'd say come spring Ballard will start taking advantage of his new membership at Crooked Stick. What an appropriate name for such a golf course.

HOOSIERS FOR FAIR TAX said...

The alliances of activists have made cabinet level recommendations to Ballard's administration. Gary Welsh tops our list. The activists are in 100% agreement on the recommendations.

Our recommended candidates have completed applications with the ServeIndy website.

Please take a look:
http://hoosiersforfairtaxation.blogspot.com/2007/12/morgan-welsh-who-activists-want-for.html

Indianapolis belongs to US, not the politicians. Never forget that our Government is OURS to control. Many people died once upon a time so that we have the right by LAW to control our Government. Never forget.

Anonymous said...

Could ya'll quit bitching and whining like spoiled brats? Give the guy a break...at least till Jan. 2 when he's been our mayor for 24 hours before you unleash! Rome wasn't built in a day and Indpls. won't be fixed in one either.

Perhaps Ballard has surrounded himself with questionable advisors but sometimes one has to get deep inside the enemy's camp to understand what's really going on.

If your instincts told you he was the right man for the job, then trust your instincts! If in time he does turn out to be a wolf in sheep's clothing, then go get him.

Anonymous said...

"When Ballard and his "staff" failed to acknowledge those of us who hauled yard signs and made financial contributions to him in the early months of his campaign it told me a lot about what kind of a man Ballard is.
I'm not surprised at this point with the direction he's going or the people he has surrounded himself with.
It's painfully apparent that integrity and gratitude are not his makeup.
Who do I call to ask for a refund of my money.

11:22 AM EST"

It seems apparent to me that 11:22, as well as several other posters here, seem to think that because they planted yard signs and donated money that they are somehow entitled to something. So I guess this wasn't about Ballard at all but rather about what was in it for the posters. How typical. You people act you were the only ones that voted for Ballard and are personally responsible for his election. Get a grip, thousands of people voted for Ballard, including myself, and they don't all feel like they are entitled to a seat at some table. You all act surprised at how politics is playing out in this scenario. Kind of naive if you ask me.

Anonymous said...

When Ballard and his "staff" failed to acknowledge those of us who hauled yard signs and made financial contributions to him in the early months of his campaign it told me a lot about what kind of a man Ballard is.
I'm not surprised at this point with the direction he's going or the people he has surrounded himself with.
It's painfully apparent that integrity and gratitude are not his makeup.
Who do I call to ask for a refund of my money.


Good luck with the refund!
Ballard has forgotten the people who supported him.

melyssa said...

No, Ballard didn't forget. If you are a volunteer who worked on his campaign, there is a party coming up for everyone that helped. Just email flipper@iquest.net

Flipper is doing the coordinating and I know they don't want to miss anyone.

Anonymous said...

'Boo hoo hoo. He chose the big, bad lawyers instead of me. He chose people who know something about Indianapolis government instead of me. He chose people with clout and influence instead of me. He chose people with proven records of execution and effectiveness instead of me. Boo hoo hoo.'

Anonymous said...

Samson, you are wrong again. The city does not adopt a biennium budget. It is annual budget. Ballard and most of the GOP said the tax increase was not necessary that the obligations could be met by trimming the budgets...now they are singing a different tune...also the obligations for the bonds and the police and fire pensions are the result of unfunded pension funds during the Goldsmith years. He was a republican.

Wilson46201 said...

The executive (Mayor) may always spend less than the appropriated amount. Those Council figures are maximums, not minimums!

Ballard is perfectly free to spend less than what's in the Budget approved by the Council. He does not have to get any approval to cut spending. The savings he makes get rolled-over into the following years budget process.

He is not compelled to spend all that's been authorized. Talk is cheap on the campaign trail -- let's see now what Ballard will cut that is acceptable to the voters of Indianapolis!

garyj said...

I know for a fact that Ballard didn't forget his supporters. I was invited to the party for his supporters, 3 times. They wanted to make sure the people weren't forgotten. If you were left off the list, I assure you it was an accident.
Ballard and his team even made the time to send a very nice floral arrangement to my mothers funeral, a week before the election. That didn't include the many calls asking if I needed anything.

Forgotten? Not even close.

Anonymous said...

There wasn't a sharper mind during this past campaign than Gary. As someone who has run for political office myself, I would have given anything to have someone of Gary's caliber helping me out. He ran circles around the idiots hanging out over there at Vermont Street. It is inexplicable to me that Ballard would throw away one of the most valuable assets he had(and he had so few)during this past campaign. For a man who supposedly is a demonstrated military leader who holds himself out as an expert on management, Ballard has demonstrated poor judgment at its least and downright betrayal at its worst in his failure to call on Gary for service. I've heard too many stories of other people who worked their butts off for him during the campaign being similarly treated. I can't recall any candidate in my 35 years in politics so quickly burning up the good will of his supporters following his election.

Anonymous said...

I believe the state and Marion County Republicans are pretty stupid. But not that stupid. Ballard is in a bad position to cut taxes right away. Wait until 2008 passes and we see if an economic slowdown happens. My bet is that Ballard wants to see how things go. If he hasn't floated a cut of the ridiculous rate of 1.65% by January 2010, then get ready for a new sweep-out. By the way, has the state committee even acknowledged Ballard in any mailing, fundraising party, its own website???

Anonymous said...

You folks who are so zealous in your defense of Ballard have ZERO knowledge of his character or more appropriately, lack of character, and what he has done/not done.

Continue to defend your hero, but I am here to tell you that honor, loyalty and respect are all characteristics of a Marine, sincerely-and although Ballard earned that title? He doesnt deserve it.

If his lack of ethics thus far is indicative of how he intends to govern, I'm more pessimistic about the cities' future than I was November 5th.

-More of an Insider than you can imagine, GaryJ, Melyssa, et al.

garyj said...

You folks who are so zealous in your defense of Ballard have ZERO knowledge of his character or more appropriately, lack of character, and what he has done/not done.

Continue to defend your hero, but I am here to tell you that honor, loyalty and respect are all characteristics of a Marine, sincerely-and although Ballard earned that title? He doesnt deserve it.

If his lack of ethics thus far is indicative of how he intends to govern, I'm more pessimistic about the cities' future than I was November 5th.

-More of an Insider than you can imagine, GaryJ, Melyssa, et al.


You CLAIM to be an insider, yet you hide behind "anonymous"
Time to "put up or shut up"

you want to bad mouth him, then grow a set!
Want to tell me I'm wrong? Tell me to my face.
I'd call you a sissy to you your face.
chuckwhitman@hotmail.com

Anonymous said...

How old are you, GaryJ? 13? Your "meet me outside after class" bullshit is just that, bullshit. Don't be so quick to take a matter so..personally..instead of thinking that maybe, just maybe..your mindset about this guy is unjustified.

This issue about Ballard is just one tree within a forest. Watch him. Either the comment above was justified regarding character issues, or it wasnt.

Anonymous said...

How old are you, GaryJ?--->justified regarding character issues, or it wasnt.

I think he was trying to tell you that you should bad mouth people openly. you want to play the back stabbing game while smiling.
You're the one who needs to grow up.
If you can't say it to their face, you're a chicken. At least garyj is willing to stand behind his comments.
Did you bother to send him a message? My guess is, NO!