Friday, July 19, 2013

The Kabuki Dance Begins: IMPD Understaffed Because Taxpayers Aren't Paying Enough Taxes

I predicted this several months ago. The mainstream media will team up with the Mayor's Office, public safety and community leaders to begin talking about how poorly understaffed IMPD is because of lack of funding. The meme will be that the reason for the understaffing is because Indianapolis taxpayers are paying too little in taxes to support public safety. Never mind that's the same tactic employed six years ago to pass a 65% local income tax increase solely for the purpose of funding public safety. Instead of asking where the money went, they'll pretend that 2007 tax increase never happened, along with the unloading of a half billion dollars in public safety pension debt state taxpayers took over in exchange for property tax relief that included an offsetting statewide increase in the sales tax. From this morning's Star:
Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry told the crowd he wasn’t going to hold back when discussing public safety issues in Indianapolis.
Then he spoke bluntly.
“The police department is woefully understaffed,” said Curry, one of several speakers Thursday night at the Nora-Northside Community Council’s annual meeting, which discussed crime issues around the city. “Woefully understaffed.”
He and other top officials and attorneys highlighted the flaws and advantages of the public safety system in Indianapolis. The meeting, attended by more than 100 people, was at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church on the Far Northside.
Curry, after acknowledging the understaffing in the Indianapolis MetropolitanPolice Department, said, “We have to find a way to fund public safety.”
Robert Hill, a Marion County public defender, echoed those sentiments, saying a properly funded public safety system is essential. “It will not work if funding is out of whack,” he said.
Hill also highlighted the flaws in a different part of the system.
“Our jail is over­crowded,” he said. “Our jail is not big enough for some of our needs here.”
He said the city could save an “enormous amount” of money by using more community corrections programs, essentially places where non­violent offenders can be monitored outside jail.
Other speakers focused on the rising number of homicides in Marion County. Eighty people have been killed this year, 24 more than at this time last year.
There is one simple reason there is not enough funding for public safety: the corrupt politicians have diverted hundreds of millions in tax dollars to slush funds they use to finance the private development projects of the pay-to-play fat cats who essentially pay bribes to them to get public subsidies for their private development projects. Until we can find an honest prosecutor who starts sending corrupt politicians to prison for this corrupt practice, no level of taxation will be adequate. The more you are taxed, the more our government is plundered by these corrupt bastards. As far as I'm concerned, the media in this town is just as corrupt as the politicians because they refuse to expose the truth behind the lack of funding. Instead, they will blame you, arguing that property tax caps are to blame. Your property taxes are too low. That's a lie and they know it. Don't let them get by with it. If you don't take to the streets and start protesting and start getting in these corrupt bastards faces now, you will face higher taxes before year's end just like you did in 2007.


goodneighborsam said...

The argument holds, if you assume everything that's built under subsidy would be built if there were no subsidy. If that's true, tax dollars are being diverted.

If, on the other hand, what's being built under subsidy wouldn't be built without the subsidy, then nothing is being diverted, and, in fact when the properties so built do come onto the tax rolls, there will, in fact, be more money for the general fund.

The problem, of course, is creating some sort of Vulcan mind meld into the psyche of individual developers to ascertain precisely what they would do under what circumstance, as opposed to taking them at their word.

That's not easy, requires some level of expertise that may not currently exist in government, and currently leaves each development the subject of endless debate.

Interesting world.

Gary R. Welsh said...

The problem is that these new projects are (a) all downtown; and (b) all located within a TIF district. That means none of the new tax dollars created from the new development generates tax revenues to fund other units of government; the new revenues are all diverted into the TIF slush funds to keep the Ponzi scheme alive. They claim the TIF base is protected, but a study of them proved that the tax base in several instances has been driven to zero in some of these Indianapolis TIF districts, meaning no revenues of any sort flow to benefit other units of government.

The City operates from the position that no new development will take place downtown unless it is subsidized. I reject that premise. As long as the developers understand how the game is played, they are always going to demand subsidies. Why wouldn't they? If you're giving a developer $25 million to build a new hotel, I want the same to build a luxury apartment building. When efforts first began back in the 1970s to revitalize downtown Indianapolis, the subsidy may have been needed. But it was never envisioned that it would become a permanent way of conducting business. Downtown looks great, but so much of the rest of the city sucks--no sidewalks, bad streets, poor sewage system, a large number of abandoned buildings and so on. A vibrant downtown alone will not produce a vibrant city.

Flogger said...

The Star article was pathetic as usual. A few quotes and nothing more. No real analysis of why we are on this road. If a Pacer or Colt was having hang nail surgery you would have columns and columns of print with the most trivial details.

Our city resembles a Hollywood Set. Downtown is a a false front of prosperity, propped up subsidies.

If crime was limited to certain areas it would be ignored. However it is spilling over into downtown. Downtown is like the "Green Zone" in Baghdad it must be protected at all costs. Thus, we now have this media-political concern about crime. If the rest of the city suffers-too bad, but we cannot downtown crime problems.

CircleCityScribe said...

"There is one simple reason there is not enough funding for public safety: the corrupt politicians have diverted hundreds of millions in tax dollars to slush funds they use to finance the private development projects of the pay-to-play fat cats who essentially pay bribes to them to get public subsidies for their private development projects. Until we can find an honest prosecutor who starts sending corrupt politicians to prison for this corrupt practice, no level of taxation will be adequate. The more you are taxed, the more our government is plundered by these corrupt bastards."

-Truer words never spoken!

Louis Mahern said...

The fact of the matter is any developer who does not demand a subsidy for downtown development is a chump. Bart and Greg have gotten them so used to being at the trough, developers cannot imagine not getting a boon from the City. We need a n entire new way of running the City. Here's hoping someone turns up.