Monday, November 24, 2014

Carmel Has Spent Over $35 Million On Parking Garages

As part of the City of Carmel's development efforts in recent years, six parking garages have been constructed using city tax dollars, two of which are owned by Pedcor, the politically-connected developer with close ties to Carmel Mayor James Brainard whose owners have become multi-millionaires, in part, thanks to the many city-subsidized projects Brainard's administration has approved. According to a summary of those parking garage projects detailed in a story by the Star's Chris Sikich, taxpayers have financed at least $35 million of the constructions costs for those six garages. In addition, City taxpayers are shelling out at least $400,000 a year on maintenance fees associated with running the four owned by the City. The actual costs of those parking garages is much higher since interest payments are made on bonds issued to finance construction of the garages.

Mayor Brainard is currently seeking council approval for yet another parking garage as part of a public subsidy being offered for yet another private development project. That parking garage will cost city taxpayers $13 million. Debt service on all of the parking garages are repaid using tax increment finance dollars. Missing from Sikich's story is the fact that Brainard is a big booster of a multi-billion dollar metropolitan mass transit plan that will be financed by raising income taxes on taxpayers in Marion and the surrounding suburban counties. Similarly, the City of Indianapolis continues to subsidize construction of one new parking garage after another at the same time Mayor Greg Ballard says an expanded mass transit system is essential to making Indianapolis a "world class city." Does anyone else see the disconnect between their words and policies?

1 comment:

Flogger said...

No disconnect really for Crony-Capitalism. The mass transit plan will feed one group, and the parking garages will feed another group.

I suppose a cynic may see Indianapolis supplying cheap labor via Mass Transit, so the more affluent can enjoy the low costs of cheap labor and park close to the stores.