Here are the links to the budgets, from which I pulled all the numbers I'll be noting in this blog entry:
Three other TIF funds are the ones I want to go into. There is the "Redevelopment General Fund", the "Redevelopment District Sinking Fund", and the "Economic Development Revenue Bonds Fund". All take in property taxes from the rest of the TIF districts besides the downtown TIF and the airport TIF.
Here is the short summary. Over these four budgets, the property tax revenues from the non-downtown and non-airport TIF districts amounted to $53.3 million. But that was far from the amount needed to cover their costs, which totaled $80.0 million. They also received an infusion of cash from other taxpayer monies:
$1.2 million from Local Option Income TaxesIt bears repeating, property taxes OUTSIDE the TIFs was raised to cover costs associated INSIDE the TIFs, in addition to income taxes and transfers from two better performing TIFs.
$6.1 million from garage operation receipts
$16.6 million transfers from the downtown and airport TIFs
and - wait for it
$16.6 million from additional property tax levies that all of those properties outside the TIFs paid
This should give all of those in the Ballard administration who are pushing the new TIFs and those Councillors contemplating the new TIFs, a lengthy and pregnant pause. Taxpayers should demand that no new TIFs are forced through before the recommendations of the TIF Study Commission can be implemented. These recommendations would not ban TIFs. They would simply require full disclosure on the proposed TIF so that an educated evaluation of each proposal could be made by the Council, as well as by the taxpayers who will continue to pay for bad TIF decisions - and pay far more than they are clearly told about.
It is not asking much that the lies about TIF districts cease. We should be given enough information to be able to evaluate - why this TIF, why this place, why this footprint, and why this project. Instead we are getting almost no pertinent information and much that is available for disclosure, is being deliberately kept from the public. This is an outrage that all Councillors should demand stop immediately.
One more item that needs to be shown the light of day in the proposed 2013 related to the "Economic Development Bonds Fund". In last year's budget ordinance covering the 2012 budget, it was estimated that this fund would have an end of year 2012 cash balance of POSITIVE $5.3 million. Now they estimate an end of year 2012 cash balance of NEGATIVE $2.0 million and project an end of year 2013 cash balance of NEGATIVE $6.7 million. What happened to cause a $7.3 million swing in the 2012 budget for a fund whose annual costs amount to only $4 million. You draw your own conclusions as the validity of the budget projections and the wisdom of being satisfied with such a huge negative cash balance in a fund used to pay Indy's debt. All I know is I wouldn't want to hold one of those bonds.