Thursday, November 08, 2012

Indy Implements Take-Home Fee For Police and Firefighters

The Ballard administration announced this week that a deal had been reached with the FOP and firefighters' union to implement a monthly fee that will be assessed on public safety personnel with take-home vehicle privileges to help offset $7.5 million in annual fuel costs. The fee will generate about $1 million in annual revenues. WRTV's Jack Rinehart explains how the fee will be assessed:

Everyone with a take-home car will pay $64 each month, public safety personnel who use their vehicles in conjunction with a part-time job will pay $128 per month and personnel with a take-home car who live out of county will pay $150 per month.
I'm not sure why the administration waited to announce this plan until after the adoption and line-item veto of next year's budget. If transparency in the budget process is the goal, this money should have been on the table during the failed budget negotiations between the mayor's office and the council over next year's budget. The council approved assessing a fee for take-home vehicles when gas prices reached a certain level several years ago, but the administrion never implemented the plan because of how poorly-worded the ordinance sponsored by Councilor Ben Hunter was, who at the time co-owned a private security firm which employed off-duty police officers and opposed charging a fee based on the use of take-home vehicles and police equipment for off-duty work. The Marion Co. Sheriff's Department announced its take-home vehicle fee last spring. It requires personnel to pay a $75 monthly fee for take-home vehicles and a $150 monthly fee if they also use their vehicle for off-duty work.

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