"For me, it’s a very specific taxation on my business,” said Smythe, who owns Claude and Annie’s Food & Spirits on 141st Street in Fishers. “Once you’ve taxed me, you’re effectively taxing my employees.”
Smythe told the council he would be less opposed to the levy if the proceeds were used to lower property-tax rates instead of funding economic development projects.
Local Realtor Kurt Meyer, speaking on behalf of the Fishers Chamber, said the tax is needed to fund economic development—an important part of diversifying the town’s property tax base and attracting employers to Fishers.
“It’s a competitive world,” Meyer said. “Every time that one of these companies comes to look at Fishers, Indiana, they’re looking at not only our neighboring communities but they’re also looking at neighboring states.”The town of 76,000 is now as big as Carmel. It' population has grown ten-fold since 1990. Its population was only 628 in 1970. After its next municipal election, it will have a full-time mayor and a council as a second class city. Remarkably, Fishers' dramatic population growth over the past several decades occurred in spite of not offering economic development incentives and racking up hundreds of millions of dollars in debt like Carmel. Now that it has arrived in the big leagues with Carmel and Noblesville, the politicians need to set up slush funds to pass out to favored businesses in exchange for campaign contributions and other favors. Once upon a time, being competitive meant keeping your taxes low to attract new businesses and residents. Now it means raising taxes on current taxpayers in order to offer larger tax incentives and subsidies to prospective businesses than neighboring communities.
If the Fishers' Town Council is foolish enough to adopt this new tax increase, you can bet that it will only beget future tax increases and a dramatic increase in debt that somebody will have to repay. Frankly, I don't even know why these people who run these suburban municipal governments bother calling themselves Republicans. They are tax-and-spend liberals who are no different than the worst of the corrupt Chicago politicians. They want more government and more taxes to enrich themselves and their political crony friends.
UPDATE: It's funny how some of the town council members and the town's manager seem not to have an opinion on whether they support the tax. Who authorized the town to hire Barnes & Thornburg to get a state law passed that allows the tax to be imposed? The guy behind the tree over there?