Saturday, July 14, 2007

IPS' Eugene White Aids Taxpayers

While many of our elected officials have been quick to point the blame at the schools for Marion County's unprecedented property tax increase, IPS Superintendent Eugene White stepped forward on his own initiative and agreed to defer nearly a half billion in school construction spending this year, which will provide some relief to property taxpayers next year. "We understand the tremendous problem that these added taxes have brought upon our patrons and taxpayers, and we are very, very empathetic to what's happening in our community," White said.

GOP mayoral candidate Greg Ballard was quick to applaud White for his courage. "IPS Superintendent Dr. Eugene White did a hard thing but he the right thing when he announced that he was putting the school district's $475 million spending plan on hold," Ballard said. "I commend Dr. White for recognizing that the taxpayers of Marion County are hurting and I admire him for stepping up to the plate and taking this tough, but responsible step." "I renew my call for Mayor Peterson to look for ways to cut local government spending." "It's been two long weeks for the taxpayers of Indianapolis. Mayor Peterson has proposed an income tax increase, $90 million in new spending and borrowing but he has failed to propose a single penny in spending cuts." "If IPS can find ways to help out our struggling neighbors, why can't the Mayor come forward with budget cuts too," asked Ballard.

Peterson's answer has been to blame everyone else for the mess. He's asking for approval of another tax increase this week, a 65% increase in the local income tax, and he wants to borrow money and pay it back over 20 years to provide short-term tax relief to hard-hit homeowners. He's also asking lawmakers to fix the problem. As for his own budget, he's not lifted a finger to cut spending there.


Anonymous said...

Question to ask is what change to took place from last year 2006, to this year 2007, to cause us to pay a big increase in taxes?
So, whatever that was why isn't that just reversed? That would be the solution to the problem!
Note to politicians: Answer this in two sentences.

We need spending limits on everyone in all the layers of the government in the country, state, county, and townships for fiscal responsibility. We taxpayers need to know how our money is being spent. We have limits on our own personal budgets, so all the layers of the governments within Indiana, and the U.S.A. need to also have spending limits. "If we take care of spending, then the taxes will take care of themselves."

Unknown said...

"If we take care of spending, then the taxes will take care of themselves."

Not necessarily - if spending stays flat, but you remove the tax burden from one group of people (say, hypothetically, businesses), taxes on the rest of the people will go up, even though spending didn't go up.

Anonymous said...

At least it would go up LESS than if you did not hold down spending.

Anonymous said...

Will HEA 1478 which created County Boards of Tax and Capital Projects be able to stop things like health and hospital corporation's plans to build a new Wishard? Does its authority extend to ALL capital projects?

This is one of the "tools" Bauer keeps talking about.

Will it work?

Anonymous said...

Was this Gene White's decision or DLGF's? Abdul will answer this tomorrow!

Anonymous said...

IPS has done an amazing sales job on their bonds that has roped in a lot of prominent Indy citizens, including the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce. (Shame on them for their shallow pandering!) Unfortunately, this latest move is just another good PR move.

Consider three things:

1) The sales pitch by IPS has focused almost exclusively on air conditioning, science labs and one school that had its only bathroom in the basement. Yet, all of these things could have been fixed for a fraction of the bonds that have already been sold and because of complacent leaders like the Indianapolis Chamber and the Mayor, nobody has asked, "Okay, what's the other $700 million going towards?"

2) Only one of THREE bonds has actually hit our property tax bills. The second, which has already been sold, will hit our tax bills sometime around 2010. That one has NOT been recinded and will cause our taxes to go up AGAIN. (Same can be said for the library bonds, which also have not hit our tax bills yet.)

3) The third bond - the one that White recinded - would not have been approved by the state anyway. So really, White did not do the favor that he wants everyone to believe. He merely conceded in a fight that was already lost.

Don't be a sucker for this latest PR move! IPS remains a huge problem in all of this - and with more bonds coming (including the bond that will hit our bills around 2010), the problems will get worse.