Tuesday, October 23, 2012

What's Going On With TIFs?

For the second consecutive meeting of the Metropolitan and Economic Development committee, the Mid-North TIF (prop 291) was postponed - now to November 26.  Ostensibly it was due to sponsor Councillor John Barth's drafting of an amendment, which he told a couple of us who attended the meeting, was still a concept in his head.  He did promise to have the Council office post his amendment online in advance of the November 26 in order to give the public a chance to review it prior to that meeting.

The committee also postponed to November 26, two proposals on the TIF Study Commission recommendations - Prop 274 urging the MDC to adopt those recommendations pertinent to them, and Prop 275 urging the General Assembly to adopt recommendations that fall in their wheelhouse.  Although these proposals were introduced before the Mid-North TIF proposal, this was the first time they were actually placed on a committee agenda.

Also being delayed from any actual agenda, is the reintroduced TIF proposed for the Meadows area - formerly Prop 16, declared dead when Prop 15 was not.  This is the proposed expansion of the Fall Creek TIF and now is alive as Prop 349.

The Council has 45 days to put an introduced proposal on a committee agenda, and November 26 will come in just under the wire at 42 days.

Tonight's Rules committee meeting will entertain Prop 316 for the second time.  This proposal seeks the enactment of the TIF Study Commission recommendations that the Council can do something about.  You will recall that Barth authored a poison pill amendment that would have gutted the recommendations, the last time the committee met.  (see "Dust Up For Reasons Unknown - But I Speculate Anyway") We shall see if he still tries to do so.

It is obvious that the Democratic caucus is dysfunctional when it comes to TIF policy.  That is very unfortunate for the economic health of Indianapolis going forward.  We simply cannot absorb square mile after square mile of new TIFs - ones that primarily benefit well to do areas of our City to boot - without harming all of our governmental units' ability to deliver the services we are actually paying taxes to get.

Tonight is an opportunity to return the horse to the front of the cart, and let the Council adopt the well considered recommendations for full disclosure, transparency, and accountability that the public deserves regarding TIF district establishment and maintenance. 


Anonymous said...

We all know which city councilor started this dysfunction within the Democratic caucus. I hope it heals soon

Had Enough Indy? said...

I am stunned at how many are putting Ryan Vaughn and what he wants ahead of what is best for Indianapolis.

Hopefully the line up of Councillors who want a piece of the action, regardless of how improper it is for the City's future, will be terminated.

So, I hope it heals to the benefit of sanity - not to the benefit of trying to build more slush funds for Ballard.

Anonymous said...

Dysfunctional is right. In true John Kerryesque double speak style- I was for it before I was against it, Zach Adamson is quoted in Star today bashing the Mass Ave TIF. He says no one on this planet could think TIF needed for Mass Ave. Wait just a doggone minute. Wasn't he one of the guys who voted TWICE in committee- first time in an illegally conducted meeting AND at the do-over meeting- to move this proposal forward. His actions supporting Mass Ave that helped keep it alive in committee speak louder volumes than meek words bashing it now.....

Had Enough Indy? said...

Anon 3:21 - Adamson voted against Prop 15 in the do-over meeting - just to be accurate.

He also noted at the time of the first committee meeting, that he wasn't sure how he'd vote in the end, but he thought it should get a hearing before the full Council.

The real problem isn't Adamson and Mahern here. Its those Councillors who "get it" about the damage too many and too many unwarranted TIFs can do - but vote for them anyway. Its those Councillors who vote whatever way Mayor Vaughn tells them to, regardless of the consequences for the City. Its those Councillors who want a TIF for their area, too, so will vote for every one that is in line before them. And, frankly, its those Councillors who don't have enough mental nickles to rub together who couldn't understand TIFs if their lives depended upon it.

Yes, Adamson could have been perfect all through this one. But, he rose to the occasion and demonstrated that he is willing to take on his friends, his allies, and his party if he thinks what they want is bad for Indianapolis and its residents. I'm willing to live with such an imperfection.