Saturday, June 06, 2009

Daniels CIB Bailout Plan Lacks Details

A Star story today by Brendan O'Shaughnessy and Bill Ruthhart takes Gov. Mitch Daniels to task for failing to identify how $13 million in savings will be realized if the CIB is dismantled and its facilities rolled into a new locally-run building authority to which he will make two appointment.

Gov. Mitch Daniels' administration refused to elaborate Friday on $13 million in cuts he has proposed to fix the city's sports board budget crisis.

Could the cuts mean deep layoffs among the staff at Lucas Oil Stadium and the convention center?

Or could it be he has identified only broad areas for savings and not yet gotten specific?

There's no way to tell.

When pressed to release copies of two studies of Capital Improvement Board spending, the Daniels administration has refused. The Indianapolis Star filed a public records request Friday seeking the information from Ryan Kitchell, director of the state's Office of Management and Budget.

Here'a another plausible explanation why Daniels' plan doesn't identify the $13 million in cuts. What if all along the CIB has exaggerated the extent of its deficit? You ask for $48 million in new revenues from state tax diversions and you wind up getting $20 million instead. You've already made $10 million in cuts. If your initial numbers had been inflated, the deficit has magically disappeared.

Meanwhile, the Pacers and the Indianapolis Indians are voicing concerns about the impact of increasing the admissions tax to 10%, thereby increasing ticket costs to sporting events. The Pacers' Jim Morris claims the team has been eating $2 million in admissions tax in the past rather than passing it along to Pacer fans. Really?

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