CIB officials rushed to assure the public that it will not require any additional tax increases over the next ten years to provide a $160 million gift to billionaire Herb Simon's Indiana Pacers despite the fact that the contemplated spending levels will cause deficits in the municipal corporation's budgets. "There’s no tax increase contemplated anywhere in this plan," the CIB president Ann Lathrop told the Indianapolis Star.
Herb Simon's current subsidy deal is costing taxpayers about $11.2 million a year. The billionaire's new tax subsidy deal will cost taxpayers about $16 million a year, a difference of $4.8 million annually. The CIB says its will dip into its "$42 million reserve" to pay for $33.5 million in facility improvements to Banker's Life Fieldhouse over the next 10 years. As for the $10.8 million the CIB will pay out annually to cover operating costs on the Fieldhouse, escalating about 3% per year, Lathrop says the CIB will have no problem covering those additional expenses. “It’s slightly more expensive,” Lathrop said, “but it is on pace with what our traditional revenue growth has been with the exception of the Great Recession.”
Of course, the public was told that the increase in the food and beverage tax required to finance the construction of the $700 million Lucas Oil Stadium was adequate before we discovered that the plan had left a $20 million annual hole in the CIB's budget to cover the annual operating and maintenance expenses for the new stadium, which set off a round of new taxes on hotels, car rentals and admissions, in addition to millions of dollars in annual state tax subsidies. Remember, the public was assured that the initial round of tax increases would not pay for additional subsidies to the Pacers. We later learned that those tax increases weren't needed for the Lucas Oil Stadium expenses but for the more than $40 million in subsidies the CIB planned to provide to the Pacers over a several year period. By the start of this year's budget, the agency had close to a $90 million surplus even with the extra layouts to the Pacers. Now, Lathrop claims that reserve has fallen to $42 million.
Councilor Brian Mahern told the Star that the approved budget for the CIB did not contemplate the higher spending and challenged Lathrop's contention that higher taxes wouldn't be required. “The budgets we’ve considered did not include these sizable and sustained amounts,” said City-County Councilman Brian Mahern. “It wouldn’t be surprising to see that the CIB needs more money, be it tax increases or new money from tax increment financing,” he said. He also balked at the licensing agreement for the $16 million scoreboard and sound system the Pacers acquired in 2012 that will give ownership of it to the CIB at the end of the 10-year period. Of course, we're really just purchasing what we already paid for once if you consider that past subsidies paid for it, and the Pacers collected additional advertising revenues from it. Lathrop previously claimed the 2012 scoreboard and sound system acquisition wouldn't affect negotiations with the Pacers. "Lathrop acknowledged the city’s previous position on the scoreboard," the Star reported. "Like any good negotiation, you come to the table and there is give and take," she said. "We utilize that board and sound system for much more than just Pacers games. We came to a reasonable compromise."
The only thing we know for certain is that the CIB lies about everything. The public is always only given half the truth. Reality lurks around each corner to jump out and surprise us when we least expect it. The budget practices of the CIB wouldn't be tolerated by any other government agency or publicly-traded corporation in this country. But the CIB doesn't have to play by traditional rules. It exists for the benefit of the billionaire sports team owners, the rent-a-civic leaders on their payroll and the downtown tourism industry that thrives at the public's expenses from the vast public expenditures laid out to support its racket. Bribes, kickbacks and payoffs are all accepted practices to continue this racket. Sweetheart, sole-sourced and no-bid contracts, free tickets to sporting and special events, lavish wining and dining, free all-expense paid trips and whatever else it takes to cajole corrupt politicians into supporting their racket. They are the engine that drives the central Indiana economy we are told so the ends justifies the means at any cost. It's a fact of life for living in Indianapolis, the most corrupt city in all of America.
Is there no end to the largess our crack City politicos will hand over to the local "one percent-er" multi-millionaire sports team-owner families and their legal and accounting cronies? Indianapolis streets are at many points ribbons of unevenly patched craters, armed violence is rising, and "public safety" seems to be little more for a call for higher taxes.... from tax bases decimated through TIF arrangements advocated by the crony pay to players....
My property tax bill arrived yesterday. My property taxes increased 2.54%!
-I guess the tax increase goes to the Pacers, not Public Safety. The Pacers get richer and Indianapolis gets more violent crime/homicides, and less police!
Several folks I've spoken with today have property tax bills that have increased by 20%+. So this is what "caps" look like? Republican tax increases are killing this state.
If you live in Marion County your state tax payments to the IRS have also increased over the last 8 years..If you live in Marion and work in Hamilton...you pay state taxes too for Hamilton...for the Palladium and roundabouts..Note: if you live in Boone and work in Hamilton...not taxed every pay check..Ponder it all...
No tax increase 'contemplated in this plan'.
No, it's contemplated outside of that plan.
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