Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Council Member From Bloomington Opines That Indianapolis Residents Would Support Income Tax Increase For Public Safety

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The businessman from Bloomington, Jefferson Shreve, who was appointed to the Indianapolis City-County Council to fill the vacancy of Councilor Jeff Cardwell, offers his opinion as a member of the IMPD Staffing Commission that Indianapolis residents would support an income tax increase for public safety. Note that Mr. Shreve could not have been paying income taxes to Marion County until he decided he was an Indianapolis resident a short time before his appointment to the council, and he certainly wasn't a resident in 2007 when our city's residents got hit with a 65% income tax increase to support public safety, which promised more police officers that were in fact never hired because Mayor Greg "Public Safety is Job One" Ballard and a majority of those elected to the City-County Council decided that spending money to fund private development projects for downtown and to provide additional subsidies to the billionaire sports team owners and downtown convention business was more important than public safety. Shreve's primary residence was located in Bloomington according to his voter registration records until a short time before he became a member of the Indianapolis City-County Council by appointment last year, and now he gets to decide how much the rest of us will have to pay in taxes who've been living here all along. The downtown mafia couldn't have picked a better person to carry their water for them, eh? If you're a legitimate resident of Shreve's district, consider running against him so the people of your district have a voice on the council, not just someone who is going to ape the talking points of the downtown mafia.

Have you forgotten these Internet ads the Marion County Republican Party and then-candidate Greg Ballard messaged against then-Mayor Bart Peterson and the Democratic-controlled council?


Anonymous said...

How about this:

1) Before any tax increase, show us where the money from the last public safety tax increase went!
2) Then where the additional money from including the entire police service district in the police special service district tax?
3) Open the books on the Super Bowl money given by the NFL!
4) Open the books on the Regional Operations Center and its related contracts and under-the-table payments.
5) Where did the money to remodel Frank Straub's suite to include a personal shower come from?

People of Indianapolis just saw a property tax increase. Where the money is being spent needs to be brought forward and the need for a tax increase shown.

It's obvious that by the State refusing to take dangerous felons after July, we'll need housing for a substantial number of more criminals in the jail.

Gary R. Welsh said...

All good questions, none of which will be asked by our useless local news media, which has already united to force through passage of this tax increase and suppress any dissenting views, and no public official will be called upon to provide answers to these questions. You'll be told that property tax caps and depressed property values are to blame for the lack of money, and that's the only notion that will be forwarded in the one-sided debate.

Anonymous said...

And let's not forget that the state took over a large portion of the police / fire pension for the city. All in all the city through tax increases, reduction of pension liability and merging IMPD and county police should be swimming in funds but somehow we have less police and even less money.

And Gary is correct, no one in city government or the local media will have anything to say other than we need more funds.

Gary R. Welsh said...

There is a reason that the hiring of these 500 new police officers is being phased in over a 4-5 year period. The tax increase proposed will not sustain the hiring of that many new officers. It won't even sustain the hiring of 100 new officers.

This tax increase is a bait-and-switch. Its real purpose is to pay for a new criminal justice center. Mayor Ballard and his stooges on the council will tell that the proposed P3 agreement will allow a new criminal justice center to be built on the dime of private investors at a tremendous savings to taxpayers. That's not true. The annual outlays that the city-county government will have to pay out to the private investors to cover lease, maintenance and operating expenses and utilities will dwarf the current outlays incurred to cover the costs of the various buildings that support those functions. In fact, I estimate that those annual outlays will be at least double, if not triple, the current costs. Remember, the private investors aren't going to build a nearly half billion dollar complex unless its agreement with Marion County allows it to recover substantial profits.

That's not even taking into consideration the large growth in IMPD's budget that will be triggered by the inevitable renegotiation of the FOP contract that always accompanies a tax increase, the spiraling costs of providing health insurance for the current and newly-hired officers and their families and the added automobile, equipment, fuel costs, etc. for all of those additional officers.

What they are proposing is a total joke. A $90 million a year tax increase in 2007 didn't yield us a single additional police hire. Think about that. Watching Councilor Barth and the city's controller sit at that meeting and crunch numbers on the fly to piece together a proposal by the seat of their pants demonstrates the total incompetence and disingenuousness of these people.

I am pleading with someone in this community who has great financial means who cares about the future of Indianapolis. Please, help us set up a nonpartisan research organization that can study these issues and provide a counter to this propaganda and disinformation we are getting from out city and community leaders and their allies in the media so that we can disseminate to the public in an effort to accurately inform them. We cannot afford another financial debacle. The time to act is now.