Thursday, February 03, 2011

Latest Ballard Tax Increase Approved

To nobody's surprise, the IURC approved a 26% increase effective within the next few weeks in Indianapolis' water rates despite all of the promises made of how much selling the water and sewer utilities to Citizens Energy would save Indianapolis ratepayers. The only good news is that the rate increase is smaller than the 36% rate increase the Ballard administration had originally sought. The IURC disallowed some of the fraudulent kickbacks to Veolia Ballard's administration had approved, but the Ballard administration had already anticipated that when it agreed to pay $29 million to Veolia to end its operating agreement with the water company--an agreement the company had breached on numerous occasions through various financial hijinks and operational failures.

Despite Ballard's contention during the 2007 campaign how important it was to make Indianapolis an affordable and safe place to live, he has failed on all accounts. With earlier rate increases, water rates will have increased more than 100% under Ballard. Sewer rates have gone up even more. A panoply of business fees have been increased. Bart Peterson's 65% local income tax rate, which Ballard campaigned against, was made permanent, which means residents pay even higher income taxes people in Chicago pay after their latest 67% increase in Illinois' income tax rate. Indianapolis' hotel taxes are the highest in the nation thanks to Ballard. While property taxes were capped thanks to a state law, everyone is paying higher sales tax as a trade off, which means eating out in Indianapolis is taxed higher than almost any other city in America when adding in our local food and beverage taxes and almost everything we buy is taxed at a higher rate. Crime is also up despite phony statistics the Ballard administration claims to the contrary. There have been more home break-ins in recent years than any other period in the history of the city. The homicide rate so far this year is on track to be one of the highest in recent years. The only change I've seen in Indianapolis is a fatter Ballard with a fatter campaign wallet funded by his fat cat contributor friends.

4 comments:

Concerned Taxpayer said...

Ballard should stop pretending he is a republican.
The members of the Council who call themselves republicans should NOT be re-elected. If you talk to one about any of the tax increases, give-aways, etc. they will talk in circles and give you 100 excuses why it had to be done.
They all have sipped the kool-aide and found it delicious.

Paul K. Ogden said...

CT,

What they think is that they're, in the midst of a sound-bite campaign, going to be able to explain away their support for tax and fee increases as being justified. That will never work.

Unigov said...

The Citizens takeover of the water company is predicated on the IURC granting this rate increase, at or close to what Water asked for.

So, the fix is in, like there was any doubt.

Advance Indiana said...

If memory serves me correctly, Cary Likens testified at a city council meeting this was the minimum percentage increase Citizens would need approved to make the numbers work out for them. As we also know now, a private deal had already been struck with Veolia to pay them off with a big termination fee which was never disclosed. The council was lied to about the reason for setting up the escrow account from which the termination fee was paid. Ballard and Citizens knew all along that's where the money would come from to pay off Veolia to go away. The IURC simply is rubber stamping the deal the most corrupt people in this town brokered to screw over Indianapolis ratepayers. Look at the members of the IURC. You don't get appointed to the IURC unless you have been already beeb bought and paid for by somebody. Why do you think Carolene Mays got appointed? From the Star: Carolene R. Mays, a commissioner since February, comes from a family with utility ties. Her father, the late Theodore Clarence Mays Jr., served on the board of directors at Vectren, an Evansville gas and electric utility. Her uncle is a principal in BMHH Energy Services, which was awarded a recent bid by the Indianapolis International Airport board to build and run an airport electric plant. BMHH includes Citizens Energy Services, a subsidiary of Indianapolis-based Citizens Gas & Coke, a utility regulated by the IURC.