City-County Council President Bob Cockrum said it’s not an ideal time for the Pacers to come looking for help, but added that he is open to listening to the concerns of team officials and the city’s Capital Improvement Board, which is charged with overseeing Conseco Fieldhouse.
“The problem is, where does the money come from?” Cockrum said. “There’s certainly nothing in the Municipal Corporations Committee [budget]. I’m sure it will be discussed in September.”
One source of the funding could be the city’s rainy day fund, an idea floated by Mayor Greg Ballard. The mayor’s proposal, sources said, is to squirrel away as much as $16 million in that fund in 2010.
The only reason the City will have any extra funds in next year's budget is because Ballard decided to make permanent Bart Peterson's 65% income tax increase, a tax increase opposed by candidate Ballard. As I've previously discussed, the so-called surplus quickly disappears when you factor out the infusion of federal dollars rolling into the City's budget, funds that are not likely to be there in the future. The 2010 budget also relies on a rosier picture for tax collections than may actually materialize.
UPDATE: Well, now Schoettle is contradicting his own words on his blog. "Mayor Ballard has not publicly suggested the rainy day fund money should be directed to the Pacers," he now writes. "In fact, he has resisted the idea of spending that money at all." "Certain member os (sic) the council, however, appear more willing to delve into that fund." Who are you to believe? At first we're told the CIB bailout includes money for the Pacers. Then we're told it's off the table. Three days after the bailout is approved by the council, we learn the subsidy to the Pacers is back on the table. I'm beginning to believe you cannot believe anyone on what their intentions are. Schoettle suggests now the mayor "has not publicly suggested" the idea. What this suggests to me is that a source from the mayor's office mentioned it to him but now doesn't want it attributed to the mayor. Just blame it on those bad councilors.