Wednesday, December 23, 2009

There He Goes Again

Despite running on an anti-tax pledge as a candidate, Mayor Greg Ballard hasn't seen a tax increase he doesn't like since becoming mayor. Just call him tax and spend Ballard. Ballard plans to raise dozens of business fees to offset money he says the City will lose when the property tax caps kick into effect. I guess he's forgotten the tens of millions annually the City saved when the state picked up our unfunded pension liability and welfare costs last year and the higher sales tax we're all paying to offset the impact of property tax caps. According to the Star, the Ballard administration has no estimate of how much these fee increases will generate. The administration supposedly relied on the estimates of a private accounting firm the City hired to determine the true cost of administering each of the services. One hotel operator told the City he couldn't recall when anyone from the City had ever inspected his large downtown hotel despite paying an annual fee to the City. If you want to predict a future action by Ballard, just watch what Mayor Richard Daley is doing in Chicago to shore up his huge budget deficit. Ballard will follow along behind him with a similar proposal for Indianapolis. And for those who will say that a fee increase is not a tax increase, sorry, but those are the rules the Republicans set in 2007 when they determined how many tax increases occurred on Bart Peterson's watch.


Paul K. Ogden said...

I can guess how Abdul will defend the tax, er fee, increases now. He'll claim that they're not really tax increases and that this can be explained during a political campaign just like the CIB tax increases can be explained as only being against "visitors."

Any political strategist will tell you voters will not parse distinctions between types of taxes. Taxes are taxes are taxes. And that includes when you call them user fees.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Paul, If Ballard were a true Republican, he would be looking at doing away with some of those fees. Why do we regulate taxi cabs, for example. Indianapolis is one of the most expensive cities in America to take a cab ride. Let's deregulate and let the market correct this problem.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Plus, AI, Indianapolis is a lot more spread out than other cities. That makes taking a taxi even more expensive.

Cato said...

It's time to face the fact that the Republicans are not the party of limited government.

Paul K. Ogden said...

No, Cato, don't be blaming the entire Republican Party because people like Ballard ignore its principles.

M Theory said...

Do people remember Ballard's election night? Do you remember Brizzi on stage? Taking credit for Ballard's victory? Do you remember how Ballard just sort rolled over let those snakes take him from The People?

Does anyone remember seeing Brizzi once during Ballard's campaigning?

Ballard deserves Brizzi.

I suggested to Ballard two weeks before the election (when people still thought he would lose), that once he was elected, he should defect from the Republican Party.

Ballard's eyes lit up as I told him that's how he could show he's fully with the people and put the snakes in their place at the same time.

Ballard should have gone to the Libertarians or declared himself independent.

He CHOSE the company he keeps.

M Theory said...

Actually, Paul I don't think Cato is far off blaming the whole Republican Party.

Those of you who don't approve, didn't stop this. I know you try, but let's face it there are more of them than you and you are fighting in a system that is based on a false right/left paradigm.

Ballard could have done something. He chose his company. He let the rats control him and let The People down.

Had Ballard left the party when I suggested it more than 2 years ago, we would not be having this discussion now.

Imagine the ripple through our country if the newly elected Mayor of our 12th largest city, defected from the Republican party and declared his Independence and told our citizens why.

Gary R. Welsh said...

The sad part of this proposal is that it probably won't generate all that much money for the grief the mayor will get from business owners. I suspect the administration left about $1 million a year in revenues on the table in its recent negotiations with the private operators of the golf courses. And to think the City has over $20 million to give away to Tadd Miller and another $15 million a year for the billionaire Simons. The little people get nickled and dimed to death while the City has big handouts for the wealthiest.

Downtown Indy said...

And don'r forget the $15M that IUPUI wants (albeit from sharing tax revenue instead of outright gifting)

Citizen Kane said...

The increased fee proposals are a part of the illegal creation of the Office of Code Enforcement by Executive Order (to become the legally created Department of Code Enforcement as of 1-1-2010). Barely anyone objected to this proposal, which resulted in splitting off half of DMD to create this new department and allow the Marine in charge (not Ballard) to build a small kingdom, by adding two deputy directors (two more than DMD had or has), a financial controller (instead of using the DMD financial team), etc. etc. So, these fee increase are intended to fund this department, without tax money. Of course, when it was with DMD, it was funded without any tax revenue also. Their split from DMD has also resulted in the Current Planning Section raising its fees to attempt to make up for the lost revenue that came from the existing fees of the Office of Code Enforcement.

There will likely be more increased fees and more fees for services that were without fees.

Paul K. Ogden said...


If Ballard left the GOP, he wouldn't have been elected.

Let's say Gary Welsh and I left the Republican Party. You really think that would help the cause of reform? No, it would hurt it. The corrupt Republican establishment though would be thrilled if we left the party because they would know we tossed away our chance at making a difference. It is within the party that we have any chance of making a difference.

Cato said...

How about making political parties illegal?

M Theory said...

Paul....I made the suggestion for Ballard to defect AFTER he won the election, not before.