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.