I and over 20 others closed their downtown businesses citing Fieldhouse related problems as a primary reason. As a matter of fact, the IRS code provides tax relief to businesses if there is a catastrophic occurrence, such as a flood, earthquake, or Katrina like hurricane. In my filling for that relief, I extensively detailed those problems and the lack of any net positive economic benefit, and conclusively proved the many negatives in a report so thorough and complete the attorneys said it was the best documented case they had ever seen and later the hearing officer did not even question if the relief should be granted. It was just a matter of “how much”. In the proverbial “Miracle on 34th Street” tradition, an official agency of the US Government pronounced that the Capitol Improvement Board and its facilities had the same catastrophic economic affect on downtown Indy as a hurricane did to New Orleans. It took three years, but I got the refund checks just last month.Bulthaup's comment completely points up how studies recently commissioned by the City at a cost of $30,000 have been completely discredited over time. He points to the $100,000 study by the IU's Kelly School of Business the City and Colts owner Jim Irsay deep sixed after it showed quite the opposite while they were making the case for the construction of a new stadium. He said IDI blamed his and other downtown restaurant's loss of revenues on 9/11 for several years until figures elsewhere in the city, state and nation showed otherwise. IDI dropped sharing downtown revenues altogether when it became patently obvious it didn't serve its needs he says. He also reminds us that the CIB forgave the Pacers from their legal obligation to pay $3.45 million a year for Conseco parking, which he says has saved the Pacers about S40 million to date. And of course, the City negotiated a deal with the Simons on the construction of their new headquarters for Simon Property Group that included free parking for its employees at another cost of at least $14 million. Bulthaup is no friend of Melina Kennedy, the former deputy mayor to Bart Peterson for economic development. He notes she helped negotiate that deal for the Simons while showing complete indifference to the problems cited by other downtown businesses. Kennedy is now the Democratic front-runner for Indianapolis mayor in 2011 and probably stands a good chance of winning at the rate Ballard is going in completely alienating all of us who worked so hard to elect him in 2011.
I think it's an absurdity Bulthaup qualified for this tax credit just as much as I think it's an absurdity to continue plowing what has amounted to billions of dollar over the years into supporting professional sports team owners and the facilities that support them and other downtown investments in the name of keeping downtown Indianapolis vibrant. The proponents of the latter are disingenuous beyond belief, such as Mayor Ballard's claim the City would lose more than 60,000 jobs but for the CIB's investments in them. The fact of the matter is our city is broke. Many of our neighborhoods are in decline. And people continue to flee these neighborhoods for safer, suburban neighborhoods. It's hard to believe that Mayor Ballard grew up in one of these working class neighborhoods after the way he has saddled up next to these elitist downtown insiders and accepted all of their offers of free tickets, meals and country club memberships, along with their platform. They are the same people who laughed at him before he became mayor. Who will have the last laugh, Mr. Mayor?