Property owners in Indianapolis could face a $50 fine for failing to clean up or paint over graffiti under a proposal approved Tuesday by a City-County Council committee.
City leaders hope the proposed fine, coupled with a new cleanup assistance program run by local nonprofit Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, will help rid neighborhoods of such defacement.
The carrot-and-stick approach is the result of months of work by a task force involving community leaders, public safety officials and others. Co-sponsor Zach Adamson, a Democrat, said the bipartisan measure was aimed in part at absentee landlords.
Property owners could face escalating fines if they ignore city violation notices.City-County Councilor Brian Mahern once again appears to be the lone voice of reason on the council. He tried unsuccessfully to offer an amendment to strip the fine out of the proposal since that equates to "taxing the victim" of a crime. Why don't we just start levying fines against homeowners who keep bothering police every time their homes get broken into? This is another bright idea of Councilor Jeff Miller, who is an embarrassment to the Republican Party. The guy is intent on regulating and taxing people into oblivion. Last week, he pushed through a council committee a proposal that will levy on average a new property tax increase of $1,300 on Fountain Square business owners that will be controlled by an unelected, unaccountable board.
My brother-in-law has two properties in Terre Haute which face I-70. It doesn't matter how much money he spends repainting and cleaning up the graffiti the street thugs return and mark their territory within days. As long as they know there is no crime and punishment for tagging properties, the perpetrators are going to keep doing it. To blame property owners for the crimes of others is unconscionable.