Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Outrage: Ballard Giving Recovered Abatement Funds To ICVA

The City of Indianapolis awarded $18 million in tax abatement incentives to Navistar several years ago to expand and retain jobs. Instead, the company closed its factory and failed to retain 1,873 jobs as promised. A claw back provision allows the City to recovery some of the unused tax abatement dollars. The tax abatement money comes out of the pockets of the taxing districts located at the site of the factory. Instead of giving the money back to the taxing districts that lost the money, Ballard is giving the money to the ICVA and Economic Development Corporation, two nonprofit entities that essentially operate as slush funds for the mayor. The ICVA uses its money to promote conventions downtown that benefit a handful of hotels and businesses. Its marketing also benefits the billionaire sports team owners of the Colts and Pacers. It already receives close to $10 million a year in taxpayer funds.

Candidate Ballard and a number of Republican council candidates had promised to support a change in the law that would give the City-County Council authority to decide abatements; however, Ballard and Republican councilors blocked an ordinance a few weeks back that would have accomplished this goal. Candidate Ballard also criticized the amount of tax abatements made during the Peterson administration. The Metropolitan Development Commission alone makes tax abatement decisions. It is an unelected board to which only politically-connected persons are appointed. Despite tough financial times for many long-time property taxpayers, the MDC has shown no signs of letting up on the tax breaks it awards to businesses.

7 comments:

Cato said...

"Ballard" isn't doing a thing. The puppet-masters are the ones running the City.

Had Enough Indy? said...

That money really should be split among the taxing units according to the usual property tax distribution formula. Ballard's folks have found yet another loop-hole in the abatement laws that apparently allows them to keep what isn't their's to keep.

I hope whatever school district this plant was in, will protest at the top of their lungs.

Sir Hailstone said...

I hope whatever school district this plant was in, will protest at the top of their lungs.

Brookville Rd and Ritter Ave - I believe that is IPS.

Advance Indiana said...

The IEDC is the entity that has footed the bill for Ballard's international junkets. One of the reasons he wants the IEDC to get more money is so they can fund more junkets for him and his wife. People who work on his staff say that his economic development folks have never suggested any of his foreign travels. He picks places he and Winnie want to take a vacation and then tells the staff to make up an excuse for taking a trade mission trip there. The guy is the biggest piker we've ever had in the mayor's office.

Citizen Kane said...

This kind of stuff will never stop until the people rise up en masse. Until people understand that government can not create jobs; all it can do is create processes and procedures that can be and are easily undermined by the cult of personality, lies, deception, and graft.

Then they also want us to believe that somehow, against all logic, the government has created a viable "industry," despite it being soley funded by taxation. The claim of viability is largely based on the fact that significant sales tax revenues are generated (without providing any actual data). Those of us who are not believers are supposedly fools who can't see the obvious downtown wonderland created by our brilliant leaders of a our heavily indebted city. Yet, they continue to scratch their heads wondering why our infrastructure is in a shambles. It is shameful, yet they have no shame.

Marycatherine Barton said...

I do not recall ever hearing anyone being called a piker before, so I looked up its many definitions, and, sure enough, Mayor Ballard fits everyone of them, to our immense disadvantage. What next from him?

Indy Student said...

And this isn't something he's trying to hide. He openly promoted giving $3.5 milllion to ICVA during the State of the City speech.

Also $1.5 million to IDEInc, but I'm not familiar with them.