Thursday, November 15, 2012

Ballard Pushes 18.5% Income Tax Increase For Billion-Dollar Mass Transit Plan

In 2007, Greg Ballard railed against then-Bart Peterson's 65% increase in the local income tax to pay for public safety and rode a wave of voter discontent rallied by the Tea Party to upset the two-term incumbent. Since taking office, Ballard squandered the nearly $90 million a year the Peterson tax increase raised for the City's coffers and pushed through higher taxes to fund the Capital Improvement Board so it could pass out multi-million dollar subsidies to billionaire Herb Simon's Indiana Pacers. Abandoning his campaign meme about making public safety job one, he vetoed line-items in the 2013 city council-approved budget in retaliation for its refusal to eliminate the homestead property tax credit that benefits tens of thousand of homeowners and for taking money away from the CIB to spend instead on public safety. Now he's asking the state legislature to give him an opportunity to raise the local income tax, which is already the highest in the state, by 0.3% to 2%, to fund a $1.3 billion mass transit plan in partnership with Hamilton County, even though he hasn't figured out how to fund basic city services with the taxes the City is already collecting.

Ballard's mass transit plan would double the number of buses operated by IndyGo, perhaps the worst-run bus system in the nation, and build a light-rail system that would run from Noblesville through Fishers to Union Station in downtown Indianapolis. All of the pay-to-play contractors who stand to make tens of millions of dollars from the latest boondoggle are lining up to support it. They're already dividing up the contracts, MBE kickbacks and accompanying bond work and other legal services that will be occasioned by the creation of this latest and greatest waste of taxpayer dollars. Never mind that the vast majority of suburban commuters aren't about to give up driving their automobiles to work in order to occasion the inconvenience of traveling out of their way to find one of the few connections the light-rail system will offer to make the trip down and back. If Mayor Ballard and the greedy bastards who are getting rich off his corrupt administration want to discourage people from commuting in automobiles and instead ride a bus or train, then raise the gas tax or impose a wheel tax on them. Don't punish those of us who have no need for a mass transit system and aren't taxing the highways with our daily commuting because we choose to live close to our jobs. Better yet, Ballard should get a clue and figure out that his tax and spend policies are only going to drive more people out of Indianapolis and into the suburbs where taxes are lower, the schools are better and the crime rate is less threatening.

7 comments:

Downtown Indy said...

In even numbered months the Mayor laments how they don't have enough money for this thing or that thing.

In odd numbered months, he talks up expensive plans for some grand new scheme he's cooked up.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Or he's handing out tens of millions of our tax dollars to his pay-to-play contractor friends to build more parking garages to encourage more commuting by automobile. It makes absolutely no sense.

Rick Smith said...

Light rail can't be bad. The Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce supports it. Strains their credibility and apparent lack of economic understanding of the costs and limitations of light rail.

http://indychamber.com/569/advocacy/community/mass-transit.aspx

Gary R. Welsh said...

The Indy Chamber is an anti-business group. It's totally controlled by the corrupt pay-to-play contractors who suck off the government for a living. They don't represent traditional businesses in any sense. Businesses who pay membership fees to the group who don't rely on the government for contracts and handouts are just pissing their money away and working against their own interests.

Mary Roger Bowser said...

And what will we do when after a year or two, they suddenly realize that nobody uses mass transit in Indianapolis, Indiana. This is NOT Chicago, New York, or Washington, DC.

Jon said...

Our RINO mayor wants another tax increase to fund mass transit. Well Mr. Mayor we'd be happy to increase our COIT as soon as you roll back the 65% increase in COIT that you promised to roll back when your were elected.

BayernFan said...

I can see strengthening the bus system. Indygo needs more routes and more frequent schedules. Later in the evening after 9pm is necessary for a thriving downtown. I could see adding a streetcar system to various spots in and near downtown and out to some of the cultural trail spots like Fountain Square etc. AS for light rail, I think the best start would be from the airport to downtown. That would get a lot of use and we could see how it goes. We could add stops at the Speedway, the Zoo, Union Square, and City Market. If popular, it could be run out ot plainfield to the west or north from downtown.