Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Fishers' Food & Beverage Tax Proposed To Compete In Luring Businesses To City

This is just how bad tax policy has become in the state of Indiana. In 2005, the Town of Fishers' residents were forced to pay an additional 1% food and beverage tax to pay for Lucas Oil Stadium. Now the local chamber of commerce is pushing another 1% tax increase to pay for economic development to bump the rate to 9% so the town can compete with Carmel, Noblesville and Zionsville in offering economic development incentives to attract more businesses to the city. Huh? Here's a little of what the IBJ reported that the town council heard at a hearing last night on the proposed tax increase:
"For me, it’s a very specific taxation on my business,” said Smythe, who owns Claude and Annie’s Food & Spirits on 141st Street in Fishers. “Once you’ve taxed me, you’re effectively taxing my employees.”
Smythe told the council he would be less opposed to the levy if the proceeds were used to lower property-tax rates instead of funding economic development projects.
Local Realtor Kurt Meyer, speaking on behalf of the Fishers Chamber, said the tax is needed to fund economic development—an important part of diversifying the town’s property tax base and attracting employers to Fishers.
“It’s a competitive world,” Meyer said. “Every time that one of these companies comes to look at Fishers, Indiana, they’re looking at not only our neighboring communities but they’re also looking at neighboring states.”
The town of 76,000 is now as big as Carmel. It' population has grown ten-fold since 1990. Its population was only 628 in 1970. After its next municipal election, it will have a full-time mayor and a council as a second class city. Remarkably, Fishers' dramatic population growth over the past several decades occurred in spite of not offering economic development incentives and racking up hundreds of millions of dollars in debt like Carmel. Now that it has arrived in the big leagues with Carmel and Noblesville, the politicians need to set up slush funds to pass out to favored businesses in exchange for campaign contributions and other favors. Once upon a time, being competitive meant keeping your taxes low to attract new businesses and residents. Now it means raising taxes on current taxpayers in order to offer larger tax incentives and subsidies to prospective businesses than neighboring communities.

If the Fishers' Town Council is foolish enough to adopt this new tax increase, you can bet that it will only beget future tax increases and a dramatic increase in debt that somebody will have to repay. Frankly, I don't even know why these people who run these suburban municipal governments bother calling themselves Republicans. They are tax-and-spend liberals who are no different than the worst of the corrupt Chicago politicians. They want more government and more taxes to enrich themselves and their political crony friends.

UPDATE: It's funny how some of the town council members and the town's manager seem not to have an opinion on whether they support the tax. Who authorized the town to hire Barnes & Thornburg to get a state law passed that allows the tax to be imposed? The guy behind the tree over there?


Anonymous said...


If you believe in using the power of government to establish anything but the most basic common market or infrastructure, you're a liberal.

Unless you're willing to use governmental power for the benefit of donors, you can't get elected, as the donors will merely direct their influence to another candidate and defeat you.

In a democracy that allows campaign contributions, all elected officials are liberals.

Odd how words change meanings in newspeak. Like "patriot," which now means someone who works to destroy freedom, "liberal," meaning seeker of freedom, now also means one who works to destroy freedom.

Anonymous said...

We need an Interstate that peels off I-69 right around Noblesville Town Center and runs about 150000 north on a dead straight shot to I-65.

With good access in place, we can create an entire metro area north of Indianapolis that avoids the city, altogether.

For all the people who matter, Broad Ripple is already seen as the South Side.

Anonymous said...

Liberal doesn't mean corporate welfare anon 8:52. Go to Vermont, which is as liberal as it gets in the states and the last thing you'll see are the kind of handouts to favored businesses like what you see all over Indiana at almost every level of government. Liberal isn't necessarily a dirty word -that's right I just said that! I think the truth is that Indiana Republicans have demonstrated that in our age, the word "Republican" doesn't mean a goddamn thing!

And Anon 11:27 "for all the people that matter" --could you be any more of a caricature of a suburban snob? Joke's on you though because you're a suburban snob from the Indy Metro area! Ha! Better luck next lifetme! There are plenty of people South of Broad Ripple who matter greatly -unfortunately their interests are sorely overlooked by the very folks who should be advocating for them, including you n me, people who should know better!

guy77money said...

God forbid Fisher's needs more businesses? Have you been up there in the traffic! The inmates are running the asylum!

Pete Boggs said...

Misery loves incorporation...

Anonymous said...

Our political leaders are no different than ordinary citizens. We allow people to rack up enormous debt, then run to bankruptcy court to make it all go away. A lot of other cities and towns across the country are doing this right now. Rack up large debt loads, pension obligations, etc. to keep campaign contributions rolling in, then let it become an issue when you are retired living in another state.

I have no doubt that Indianapolis, Carmel, etc. will eventually consider the bankruptcy option. Carmel might be able to get buy slashing 25% of government across the board, because they don't have the low income issues we see in Indianapolis. That might save Carmel for another decade or so. If courts continue to allow muni bond bankruptcies, then eventually this entire game will collapse, as people will stop investing in long term muni bond issues.

Unigov said...

"When the Republicans turn socialist, hang on to your wallet." - me

The reason these schemes get enacted is that the leftists and big business have joined forces, under the umbrella of "Statism". For example, Indy didn't need a new football stadium, we already had one that was just fine. But the labor unions and the construction companies and the finance types wanted it. In Fishers the Chamber of Commerce favors higher taxes because they will directly benefit. Politicians want higher taxes to create more deals, which generate more bribes.

ketz said...

A lot of other cities and towns across the country are doing this right now. Rack up large debt loads, pension obligations, etc. to keep campaign contributions rolling in, then let it become an issue when you are retired living in another state.

Glass Coaster