Monday, July 28, 2008
City's Finances Still Look Bleak
Even after a record 65% increase in the City's income tax, property tax increases and a $1 billion pension debt bailout by the State of Indiana, Indianapolis is still operating in the red according to the Controller for the City of Indianapolis. The City will even have to take out a $150 million loan just to make it through the year. Budget forecasts for the next few years look even worse with expenditures expected to surpass revenues in the foreseeable future unless drastic changes are made. This is what happens when you live beyond your means for so many years. The opening of the $700 million Lucas Oil Stadium this month and the demolition of the RCA Dome (despite owing $70 million on it) to make way for a $200 million convention center expansion are emblematic of the recklessness with which the City has continued to borrow and borrow beyond our means to repay it. According to the numbers released by the Ballard administration today, expenditures for the 2008 budget are far exceeding the budget approved by Mayor Peterson and the Democratic-controlled council last year--at least $30 million. With a source of revenue yet to be found to finance the operating and maintenance expenses for Lucas Oil Stadium, the City is facing a much worse financial crisis than people were led to believe during last year's budget debate.