From the discussion of the state's highway funding problem, Heinz jumps to an interview with the Indy Chamber of Commerce's Mike Huber, who has never met a tax increase he doesn't support, and a call by his organization to allow a new commuter tax on suburban workers to provide more funding for the City Indianapolis, which has absolutely nothing to do with the state transportation funding problem.
. . . The Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce is offering one idea: tax commuters who work in the city but live elsewhere.
"The population of Indianapolis grows per day a net of 150,000 residents. And we've never really had a real revenue stream to pay for that increase in population," said Michael Huber with Indy Chamber. Lawmakers directed INDOT to study new sources of revenue.
The agency is expected to finish its study by the end of next year. In the meantime, INDOT is shifting from building new roads to maintaining those already in place . . .Huber's commuter tax proposal belongs nowhere in the discussion of state highway funding. The commuter tax supported by the Chamber of Commerce actually would allow the City of Indianapolis to capture a share of the local income taxes paid by suburban residents who work within Indianapolis, as if they aren't already paying taxes daily to support the spending needs of the City of Indianapolis every time they eat or drink anywhere within Marion County, attend sporting and other special events or shop anywhere within the county. The suburban counties also pay a food and beverage tax every time they eat out within their own communities to pay for Lucas Oil Stadium.
Huber needs to go back to school and learn that so many people flee the City to live in the suburbs because they're tired of paying higher taxes and watching all of that money go for projects that only benefit businesses located within the mile-square downtown, while other city neighborhoods crumble due to a lack of funding and attention. Indianapolis' problems have nothing to do with a lack of revenues; rather, it has everything to do with misplaced priorities on where the money the City collects is spent. On that score, the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce is a part of the problem, not the solution.