Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Indianapolis Public Library Gets Approval For Its Latest Tax, Borrow And Spend Plan
Previously, we told you about how the Jackie Nytes-run Indianapolis Public Library had crafted a $59 million capital spending plan to build new library branches all over the county without subjecting the borrowing plan to the referendum process Indiana lawmakers led you to believe you would have available to help protect your property tax bills from increasing unnecessarily when it passed property tax reform legislation in 2008. Ms. Nytes, who was CFO of the library back in the 1990s when your library tax levy skyrocketed because of the Taj Mahal addition to the Central Library, which has turned into a popular hang out for street bums to sleep off their hangovers and a make-shift home/loitering hall for downtown's growing homeless population, assured members of the Municipal Corporations Committee that the massive borrowing and spending plan can be done without raising taxes again.
What her high-paid consultant from Umbaugh & Associates showed us with her fancy chart is that property tax levies that would otherwise decline substantially because of the retirement of old debt will instead remain at least as high as they currently are to pay for the new debt that is replacing the old debt. A little more than $70 million in old debt will be replaced by a similar amount that you will be taxed to pay off for decades to come. The levy rate may remain steady, but that doesn't mean your taxes won't increase unless you're banking on your property values remaining the same and not subject to future assessment increases by your friendly assessor. For the average council member with an IQ of 75, it sounded good enough as they passed her massive debt plan unanimously. By the way, these people from Umbaugh & Associates are the same financial experts who've been providing advice to the City of Carmel for years. Remember how Mayor James Brainard continuously assured the public his financial experts had assured him his beloved Redevelopment Commission was sustainable with existing property tax revenues right up to the point he had to ask the city council to bail it out?
Watch the video above as their slick, high-paid bond lawyer dances around the referendum-avoidance issue while laughing in your faces. He even told the council members the bond fees would be the same whether a single $59 million bond issue is underwritten or it's broken up into multiple bond issues. When he spoke of fees, he was only speaking of the finance fees; he wasn't speaking of the fees his law firm gets to charge anew with each successive bond issue. If you believe a lawyer's fee for a single bond is the same as the fee for serial bond issues, I've got a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you. There was nobody who spoke up at the meeting tonight on behalf of taxpayers; only the usual suspects who get paid to testify bothered to show up. It just reminds me again of how there really is no hope for representative government in this country anymore. Only the voices of the people feeding at the public trough get heard. The rest of us can just go to hell.