Monday, January 28, 2013

Council Votes To Hike Taxes For The Benefit Of The CIB Racket

Get Microsoft Silverlight Get Microsoft Silverlight The CIB's long running racket got another leg up at the expense of Indianapolis' taxpayers as the Indianapolis City-County Council voted to increase the county admissions tax 67% and the auto rental tax 50%. About 25% of that money will supposedly go to public safety, but we know that's never going to happen. The council promised taxpayers when they raised the local income tax by 65% in 2007 that it was a public safety tax that would be devoted to hiring at least 100 more police officers and to cover other public-safety related expenses in the city-county budget. Instead, we got more than 200 fewer police officers than we had on the day that tax increase went into effect.

A few councilors called out Mayor Greg Ballard for holding other county budgets hostage in order to pass off money to the CIB that he and his goons have already committed to giving away to the people who have been paying campaign cash bribes to him for the past five years. The Republicans' defense of the Mayor's terrorist-like behavior was sickening to this life-long Republican. Most of the Republicans on this council share zero philosophical views of the Republican Party and are indistinguishable from the Democrats. I wish they would just switch parties and stop masquerading as something they clearly are not. The idea that any councilor would have the audacity to try to pass tonight's tax increase vote off as a vote to help public safety is a flat out lie that is beyond reproach and exhibits just how corrupt the majority of the elected councilors are and how much contempt they have for their constituents. They only care about putting your tax dollars into the pockets of the pay-to-play operators who are stuffing money in their campaign pockets and who are showering them with all kinds of gifts, including free tickets to every Colts and Pacers game they and their family members wish to attend.

For weeks now, Councilor Brian Mahern has been trying to get the CIB to divulge just who all receives free tickets to sporting events controlled by the municipal corporation and the value of those tickets. The CIB has stonewalled Mahern's request. Many of the councilors don't want the information made public because they don't want their constituents to see how they are being bribed with free tickets to support more and more money for the CIB through higher taxes while other basic city services are cut. Councilor Mahern made a motion to delay the vote on the admissions tax increase until the CIB produced the easily-obtained data he requested. Not a single member would second that motion. Gee, I wonder why?

In another move that will cause even more harm to the budgets of city-county agencies than the continual drain of tax dollars by the CIB is the approval of a massive new TIF district that extends throughout much of Indianapolis' northside and encompasses some of the city's most affluent neighborhoods, including Meridian-Kessler and Butler Tarkington, in addition to the already over-developed Broad Ripple Village. The Democrats on the council rejected a TIF proposal by Councilor Christine Scales that would have created a TIF for one of the City's poorest and most blighted neighborhoods on the northeastside. Remarkably, even the African-American councilors of the Democratic Party turned their backs on these neighborhoods largely populated by blacks. Hey, they don't have money to stuff in their pockets so they can settle for the crumbs. Councilor Leroy Robinson, who has turned into one of the most nasty members during his short tenure on the council, continuously and rudely interrupted Scales in an effort to silence her criticism. CCC President Maggie Lewis once again demonstrated how incompetent and unqualified she is to preside over this embarrassment of a council. She's even worse than Monroe Gray, if that's possible.

The council even rejected an effort by Councilor Zach Adamson to remove from the Midtown TIF proposal the Broad Ripple parking garage that is being built with $6.5 million in taxpayer dollars for the benefit of Mayor Greg Ballard's largest campaign contributor. Despite already being half built, the proponents insist that the TIF district should get all future property tax revenues generated by it. As a consequence, Adamson pointed out that it will take the City 42 years to recover the investment it made in this private development. In short, the Midtown TIF will drive IPS into bankruptcy, which is the ultimate goal of those pushing for this massive property tax grab that will harm our schools the most in order to benefit a handful of developers who contribute generously to the Mayor and the councilors who pushed this TIF. All in all, we witnessed the state's worst elected council at work tonight. Marion County taxpayers weren't represented at the council meeting tonight, but a guy who's been living in Bloomington for the past 19 years got a seat on the council and was given an opportunity to vote to raise your taxes as his first order of business. Absolutely disgusting. Get Microsoft Silverlight


Had Enough Indy? said...

So Bloomington's Shreve cast the 'winning' vote for both taxes?

Gary R. Welsh said...

Yeah. Now you know why the GOP leadership devoted so much energy to threatening, cajoling and bribing PCs to vote for someone they had never met before he showed up asking for their votes. Having someone representative of Perry Township was the least of their concern. Jeff Cardwell deserves the most blame in that sordid mess. He could have maintained his support for Kalscheur, but he instead chose to stab him in the back and help deliver votes for the out-of-towner.