Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Ballard Seeks Another Tax Increase For Water Company

The double-digit water rate increase for which the Ballard administration sought and obtained approval earlier this summer just won't cut it. Earlier this year the administration sought a 17% emergency rate increase to deal with huge losses the Indianapolis Water Company sustained from high-risk derivative, adjustable rate bonds, but the IURC cut that increase to 11%. The City will file the request for a rate increase by the end of this month according to WTHR, but Executive Director Matt Klein of Indianapolis Waterworks won't say how much the increase will be. He says the additional money is needed for capital projects. In reducing the earlier rate increase, the IURC took the City to task for its one-sided agreement with Veolia, which pays out more than $40 million a year to the French-owned company to run the IWC and rewards the company with multi-million dollar bonuses that are not tied to performance. The Ballard administration responded to the IURC ruling by hiring more consultants for advice on how to respond to the ruling. The Ballard administration didn't create this mess, but it sure is determined to punish Indianapolis residents as much as possible in order to reward campaign contributors with costly contracts. And let me remind my Republican friends, who might object to the words tax increase in the context of discussing a water rate increase, that increases in fees and rates were counted as tax increases by Republicans during the 2007 race to unseat the tax and spend administration of former Mayor Bart Peterson.

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