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.