Monday, May 17, 2010

Ballard And Republican Councilors Seeking Another Tax Increase

No, I'm not talking about the largest tax increase in Indianapolis history our Republican-led council passed tonight that they masqueraded as a cost-savings measure. I'm talking about the 120 business fees Mayor Greg Ballard plans to raise and Republican councilors have pledged to support to fuel an additional $2 million a year in spending. All of those subsidies and contracts Ballard and his Republican council friends are passing out to their fat cat contributors are running up quite a tab and somebody has to pick up the check. It won't be the billionaire sports team owners, but small business owners who are already struggling in this worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. At this rate, Ballard and the Republicans will enact more tax increases in four years of operating government than the eight years of Democratic rule before them. For a trip down memory lane, the campaign video of Ballard above was back in the days when he supposedly opposed raising taxes and said he would fin a way to cut the budget by 10%. "There's a lot of fluff in that budget," he said at the time.


Marycatherine Barton said...

What a disturbing report! Personally, I would feel so much more at ease if the same people that were filling the city-county assembly room three years ago, denouncing the Democratic-controlled Council and Mayor for increasing the taxes and fees, were now doing the same re the Republican-controlled Council and Mayor plans to do so, because then I would know that they were sincerely disturbed about being abused by big government.

I do not comprehend why any aware citizen who lives in Marion County still rationally thinks that the Ballard administration is better than the Peterson one, or that the Council President Vaughn, is better than Gray. Call me disgusted!

Downtown Indy said...

I eagerly await the press release that notes how this is a 'minimal impact' increase and 'we haven't increased these fees in X years so it's long overdue.'

You know they're going to say it.

Gary R. Welsh said...

I understand the mayor was on the radio this morning telling all kinds of stories about the utility transfer. Your water and sewer rates are only going to go up 75% and 300%, respectively, and if this deal doesn't go through, the rates will go up more than 100% and 400%, respectively. It's sort of like his claim that the City would lose more than 60,000 jobs if the council didn't approve his tax, spend and borrow bailout plan for the CIB.

Jon said...

Where is the money from the state taking over the police and fire pensions? Where is the money from the fire department mergers? Where is the money from the increase in county option taxes?
Oh never mind we can just raise taxes!

Gary R. Welsh said...

All good questions, Jon. A significant amount of the income tax increase was earmarked for the pension liability. When the state took over that obligation, it saved the state about $25 million. There were additional savings from county welfare costs the state picked up. This was all relief Peterson had sought before enacting the income tax increase, but Daniels and the Republicans in the legislature turned him down. Ballard then tried to take credit for the property tax caps, which he did nothing to further, and never mentions all of the costs the state picked up. But he never misses an opportunity to say how much the City supposedly will lose as a result of the property tax caps, losses which I believe have been grossly over-exaggerated by all units of local government.