Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Ballard Tying Support For Domestic Partner Benefits To TIF Expansions

Those of you who read this blog regularly won't be surprised to hear this since you've already figured out that Greg Ballard's number one priority as mayor is to see how much of your taxpayer money he can stuff in the pockets of his fat cat contributors' pockets. The Star's Jon Murray reported yesterday that Mayor Greg Ballard is now wavering on his earlier support of extending health insurance and other employee benefits to the domestic partners of unmarried couples. Proponents of the ordinance have delayed passage of the ordinance in order to give the mayor's office more time to offer input into the proposal's language. Now that the proponents made all of the changes requested by the mayor's office, Ballard  says he's having a problem with it because in his mind "those who get in trouble with the law usually come from families that are not together." Ballard says he worries that it would provide a disincentive to city workers to get married. Not hardly, Greg. Unlike married employees, unmarried employees would be taxed on the benefits their domestic partner receives, which is why so many choose not to take advantage of domestic partner benefits where the benefit is offered.

Let's get this straight. The issue for Ballard has nothing to do with morality. Ballard is now sending out signals that he will veto the proposal unless the Democrats move forward with his TIF expansion proposals, which would allow even more developing areas of the downtown to be taken off the tax rolls as revenue sources for other taxing districts so the mayor has an even larger slush fund from which he can dole out multi-million dollar public subsidies to his fat cat contributors. TIF districts already consume more than 10% of the entire county's property tax base, representing nearly $100 million a year in revenues that can be unilaterally spent on "economic development" the mayor alone deems is appropriate. If the domestic partner proposal were to become law, an analysis shows that only about 30 employees would apply for the benefit with a negligible impact of a few hundred thousand dollars on the city's budget. The fiscal impact of Ballard's TIF expansion proposal, on the other hand, reaches into the tens of millions of dollars at a time when the city is already facing a $50-$60 million budget deficit. The proponents of the domestic partner benefit proposal should call the mayor's bluff. Let him veto it and let all see where his priorities really lie--taking care of the people who least need the help of government.

1 comment:

Had Enough Indy? said...

This is cynical government at its worst.

I hadn't heard of his extortion for the TIF districts.