It would be quite incredible if the suburban counties are actually dumb enough to go along with hiking their income taxes to provide cheap transportation for Indianapolis' criminals to travel out to their neighborhoods and export our skyrocketing crime rate along with it. That may sound harsh, but it's frankly an insult to our intelligence for Curry to claim people won't commit crimes if they have a mass transit system that allows them to travel out into the suburbs. I guess I shouldn't be surprised. This is the same prosecutor who took a payoff for the benefit of his office from a business charged with a serious crime in consideration for dropping the serious felony charges against the business.
You know there's something wrong with this picture when the federal government is throwing millions of dollars at the proponents to spend on a PR campaign push backing this mass transit proposal. This is why you see otherwise legitimate investigative reporters like Fox 59's Russ McQuaid being prostituted out to deliver news stories that are nothing more than press releases masquerading as legitimate news reporting pimping for this ill-conceived mass transit plan. IndyGo has had decades to figure out how to fund an efficient mass transit system in the most densely populated areas of Indianapolis and has failed miserably. Now we're suppose to trust an unelected, unaccountable mass transit authority with authority to spend hundreds of millions of tax dollars annually to manage an even bigger mass transit system.
UPDATE: I'm adding an opinion piece written by former Carmel City Councilman John Accetturo penned, which more accruately reflects what a real Republican should be thinking on this issue, not the views expressed by fake Republicans like Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard and Carmel Mayor James Brainard, who are drunk on taxing and spending their residents into oblivion.
House Bill 1011 which is referred to as the Mass Transit bill recently passed the House and is pending action in the State Senate. Three of the seven sponsors of the bill in the House are Jerry Torr(R) Carmel, Steve Braun(R) Carmel/Zionsville and Todd Huston(R) Fishers. Four democrats and another republican are also sponsors. The mere combination of the sponsors might bring on a buyer beware reaction even to an opened minded person.
The bill authorizes a metropolitan transit district to(1) construct or acquire any public transportation facility;(2) provide public transportation service by operating public transportation facilities; and (3) issue bonds and incur indebtedness. It provides that if a county approves the local public question, there will be an additional county economic development income tax (CEDIT) rate of up to .3% to fund the metropolitan transit district. For residents of Hamilton County that will be a 30% increase in our county tax on all income including retirement.
That is great information but what does that mean to us as residents of Hamilton County? Reading into the details of the bill, I discovered that a metropolitan transit district board would be created with as many 14 appointed members that can tax and determine what kind of transportation system they would spend our tax money on. Seats on board include a union representative from the transportation union of the employees of the district. Appointments to the board would be made by mayors, the governor, county commissioners, a union etc. I just do not see how the interest of Hamilton County will be protected on a board as stated in the bill. Additionally, this will be another board created by government which will spend taxpayer money without being responsible to the taxpayers like elected officials are. It makes you wonder why politicians continue to create more taxing boards not only in our county and state, but also across the country.
Undoubtedly, we need better mass transportation in the metropolitan area. However, voting to institute a tax without knowing what you are going to get and what the cost will be makes little sense. House Bill 1011 wants us to vote ourselves a tax and let a 14 person board decide our fate. In others words - Hamilton County residents, just give us the money and we will take care of you.
There are a few specifics in the bill but there are no concrete details on what kind of transportation system might be built or how much it will cost. Media coverage mentions what the system might or should be to include light rail, buses, or whatever. The bill itself does not identify specifics of the proposed mass transportation system or the cost. However, it does allow the Board to pass a county economic development income tax of .3% if the referendum is passed by our county. The vote on this question would take place in 2014 for Hamilton and Marion County if the bill passes the Senate and is signed into law.