Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Brainard Prepares Tax, Borrow And Spend Binge To Ring In New Year

Carmel Mayor James Brainard has big plans for the new year when his rubber-stamp council takes office. He tells The Star's Chris Sikich that he plans to spend $217 million over the next three years constructing another two dozen roundabouts and other street and road improvements. He plans to borrow the money by issuing bonds backed by a property tax increase--at least enough to bump those homeowners who have not already reached the property tax caps to that constitutional limit--along with a mix of federal and state funds.

All of those controls the old city council imposed on the Carmel Redevelopment Commission after the council had to bail out the RDC's run-away borrowing and spending with a $195 million general bond obligation backed by property taxes will come to an end if Brainard has his way. Restrictions the council placed on spending by the RDC without council approval is unconstitutional Brainard says. Instead, the council will have an appointee on the RDC, a Brainard stooge, it will have to rely upon to keep the RDC in check.

Brainard also plans to push ahead with his plans to make Carmel a second-class city. The council's size will grow from 7 to 9, and the mayor will get to appoint a controller to manage city finances rather than being bothered with an independently-elected clerk-treasurer. Those changes, however, will have to wait until the next election cycle in 2020. 


Anonymous said...

We have owned in Carmel since the mid-1970s. It is just beyond the ken how so many Carmel voters have zero clue regarding City finances. As long as the trash is picked up without problems or delay and that the streets are cleared of snow* quickly and efficiently, citizens up here think everything is hunky-dory without an idea of what all those damned rotaries and new "public-private" [think: taxpayer rip-off] partnerships are costing them.

I think the day of reckoning will be soon. Can you imagine the day Brainard is no longer mayor and the new person steps in without an idea of how to keep the shell games going?

Anonymous said...

20 years hence, when the concrete is crumbling and the bills are due Indiana's low wages will have failed to produce sufficient home price appreciation that is the only way to actually grow per unit property tax revenue with caps in place- indexing if you will, urban planners and financiers will be studying Carmel as a what not to do.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:38: That new mayor's first question may be something like "What's this single copy you're asking me to sign & what's the name of the law firm who will have it on file?"

John Accetturo said...

Mayor gone Wild. Bobble head Council & Clerk Treasurer is Brainard's dream come true but will be a nightmare for Carmel.His 2016 spending spree will damage City finances for years to come.

Anonymous said...

Given Brainard's history of accurately estimating project costs who knows what the real number will be. But for analysis purposes let's assume it's accurate. $195M in new debt needed. Current interest rate on a 20 year bond for AA credit is 3.2%, putting debt service at about $13.4M per year. Carmel has about 30,000 households per census data. That's an average of $450 per year per household per year, not $20 a year on a select few households.

Paul said...

Think he'll run again in 2019? If he's been mayor since 1996, Carmel needs a new mayor. And NOT a hand-picked clone.

Anonymous said...

For those who haven't read the news release, or could not be bothered to vote for fiscal conservative candidates go to this link. Read it and weep, no wonder assessed valuations and taxes are UP. This will not be the last time with the bobble heads in control. How many people can you jam into the Car-Mel phone booth? These developments are always made to appear as benificial but bring nothing but more expenditures for other services. Next comes the Carmel Clay Schools referen-DUMB!


Those of you that voted for Brainard's Bums and those of you that didn't vote at all
are now going to receive exactly what you deserve. Would the last person that leaves this City, please turn out the lights - can't pay the electricity bill.