Sunday, August 1, 2010

2010 Tax Cap Credits -- Municipal Corporations

Now we move on to the municipal corporations, those units of government run by a separate Board, but operated in part or in whole with taxpayer funds. The Boards are appointed by elected officials and the budgets are approved by the City-County Council. These muni corps are: the Capital Improvement Board, the Marion County Health & Hospitals Corporation, the Indianapolis International Airport, the Indianapolis Marion County Public Library, and IndyGo. For the tax cap credit impacts, I will also list the smaller local Libraries and the Speedway transportation system, although I do not have information about their budget totals.

The Capital Improvement Board, as we are often and loudly told does not take property taxes (usually while they are busy picking another of our taxpayer pockets). Their entire budget is not open for approval or rejection by the Council; barred from review is anything to do with Lucas Oil Stadium. The CIB relies upon a laundry list of tax revenues and is so awash in ample cash that it was recently able to give away $33.5 million to the Pacers organization. (Just in case you missed it, that was sarcasm.)

The Indianapolis International Airport is legally able to ask for property tax support, but it does not do so. Instead, it relies on landing fees, funds from the FAA, ticket taxes, and the like for its revenue. This does not mean that they do not impact property taxes in Indianapolis. Given their huge expanse of property and their willingness to extend property tax-free status to the likes of FedEx and others, they cut down the property taxes that could be garnered from private enterprise that operates on airport land. When those taxes aren't paid by these huge and small companies, the rest of us pick up the slack. The biggest loss is to those of us living in Decatur and Wayne Townships, but the impact is definitely County-wide at some level.

In addition to the property tax revenue of each of the muni corps, I am noting the size of each entity's entire budget, since those documents are readily available on the City's website. Links to each are provided with the actual total budget figure. The numbers in the "%" column are calculated by dividing the circuit breaker credit (or, tax cap credit) by the certified property tax levy as determined by the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance (DLGF).

Total BudgetProperty Tax Levy*Circuit Breaker Credits%
Indy Airport258,972,92400n/a
Beech Grove Public Library 1,116,091318,49028.5%
Speedway City Public Library 760,0287,8381.0%
Speedway Public Transportation 236,3362,4371.0%
* Number in brackets is the amount of property tax levy approved by the City-County Council. Number not in brackets is the levy certified by the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance, which is the final, official amount.

Beech Grove continues to demonstrate higher percentage of its property tax levy having been lopped off in the form of tax cap credits. The muni corps that get property tax revenues have seen an average impact from the tax caps.

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