Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Ballard Got State Lawmakers To Approve Backdoor Property Tax Increase This Past Session

The Indianapolis City-County Council has rejected repeated attempts by Mayor Greg Ballard and Republican council members to increase local property taxes on homeowner by eliminating the local homestead credit on property tax bills. Current law permitted the City-County Council to use revenues raised from the county option income tax increase to provide additional property tax relief to homeowners. The local homestead credit costs about $10 million annually in COIT revenues, although not all of that money translates into property tax relief. Most homeowners have already reached the 1% property tax caps so a substantial amount of the credit provides additional revenues to other local taxing districts like schools. According to fellow blogger Pat Andrews, $2 million goes to homeowners for relief, while the $8 million balance goes to schools, IndyGo, the library district and the Health & Hospital Corporation to lessen the impact of property tax caps.

Like has happened on so many occasions in the past, when Mayor Ballard can't get his way with the council, he simply goes behind its back and gets the state legislature to give him what he wants. HB 1485 contained a poison pill that prohibits the City of Indianapolis from using COIT revenues to fund the local homestead credit. If City-County Council members want to continue the homestead credit, it will have to find another tax to raise to pay for it. The law takes effect on January 1, 2017. "By upending the current funding source, the Republican controlled State Legislature is reaching into what will likely be a Democrat controlled Mayor's office and forcing it to RAISE TAXES to maintain the status quo," Andrews writes at Had Enough Indy. "Of course, if a Republican were to somehow win the election, the Legislature left itself a year to 'correct' course so that no such dilemma would have to be faced by a Republican," she adds.

It's just the latest in a long running example of what a fraud Mayor Ballard turned out to be. I beat myself up every day thinking what a fool I was to believe in him and to work my tail off to help get that low-life piece of scum get elected to office. If there were any justice in this world, federal prosecutors would be hauling his sorry ass off to prison today instead of Jared Fogle. The number of felonies he's committed over the past two terms in office and the long-term fiscal cost to Indianapolis taxpayers is too great to measure at this late point. How can federal prosecutors just ignore the latest scandals involving Blue Indy and Vision Fleet? The mayor's actions in both of those transactions are unprecedented and have and will continue to detrimentally harm the City for years to come. How can we have faith in our government when those responsible for holding public officials accountable for their misdeeds refuse to do their job?

Most Indianapolis lawmakers, by the way, voted to approve HB 1485 on final passage whether they knew what was in it or not. It passed the House by a vote of 64-19 and the Senate by a vote of 41-7.

Marion County lawmakers voting "Yes" on HB 1485:

Sen. Breaux (D)
Sen. Miller (R)
Sen. Merritt (R)
Sen. Schneider (R)
Sen. Waltz (R)
Rep. Bartlett (D)
Rep. Behning (R)
Rep. DeLaney (D)
Rep. Frizzell (R)
Rep. Kirchhofer (R)
Rep. Speedy (R)
Rep. Summers (D)

Marion County lawmakers voting "No" on HB 1485:

Sen. Delph (R)
Sen. Taylor (D)
Sen. Young (R)
Rep. Macer (D)
Rep. Moed (D)
Rep. Shackleford (D)
Rep. Pryor (D)
Rep. Porter (D)
Rep. Hale (D)

Not voting: Rep. Forestal (D) & Rep. Bosma (R)


Had Enough Indy? said...

Interesting votes.

Anonymous said...

Gary, why not move? Indy isn't that great. I want to move. Over 3/4 of Indy is depressed.

You can do better than Indy in a lot of places.

Anonymous said...

Gary, you are far too kind in describing this dictatorial corruptocrat on the 25th floor as a "low-life piece of scum". Far too kind.

I just cannot believe that Marion County is now like Nazi Germany- but that is what the Marion County GOP brought us to. No one can stop our madman mayor from enriching himself and his cronies at the peoples' expense and the peoples' convenience.

For your demographics, I usually vote "Republican". I doubt I will vote at all in the next election. Why vote? When even our elected officials will not obey the law, the law is meaningless. And why should we follow the law when even the mayor will not?

Anonymous said...

There is no republican party in the state capitol of Indianapolis.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Nor is there a Democratic Party. There is one Republicrat Party.

Anonymous said...

And it will only get worse thanks to Pence and the State Legislature's interference in the City Council's composition. SEA 621 will take away the 4 at large seats currently held by Democrats. In addition, the reapportionment of districts will now favor a Republican majority by 15 to 10. There will be no stopping any non-income producing project or corporate dole paid for on the backs of Marion County taxpayers. Welcome to Indianapolis - better to visit here than to live here.

Sir Hailstone said...

"In addition, the reapportionment of districts will now favor a Republican majority by 15 to 10"

Did you just come in from Denver with a Rocky Mountain High? There's not enough baseline votes in Marion County to justify that line of thinking. It'll be 15-10 but the Dems will have the majority. Look at the past two election cycles since the last municipal election which brought the Dems to majority in the CCC - both have gone 60-40 in favor of the Dems.

Anonymous said...

Sir Headstoned,
Election of each City County member is based upon votes cast in individual districts, not by the overall party votes cast in Marion County. The last two elections were pre-reapportionment unlike the upcoming 2015 November election. If you take past voting patterns, as Brooks used in his manipulation, you will find that Republican voters predominate in 15 of the 25 districts. By not taking into consideration the overall Marion County vote, at large candidates have been eliminated. With a now one member Democratic majority and an immediate loss of four at large Democratic seats the deck is stacked and the math is simple. So much for home rule, taxpayers.