Monday, December 10, 2012

Could See This One Coming for Years Now

Anyone who remembers that the CIB bailout from a few years ago contained two delayed opportunities to increase taxes, knew those two taxes would be on the table.  Will someone please explain to me why we go through this charade of 'well, maybe we won't need the money'.  The city mothers and fathers never let a chance to raise taxes fall to the wayside.

Today's Indy Star holds the 'revelation' that there is intense consideration by the CIB and Mayor Vaughn and Council President Lewis, to raise the admissions tax by an additional 4% and the car rental tax by an additional 2%.  Reporter Jon Murray has a great article, and one that has a host of information in it.  Last night fellow blogger Paul Ogden commented on it over at Ogden On Politics.  This morning, Gary Welsh adds his thoughts on Advance Indiana.

The additional taxes could raise about $7 million in additional funds to the CIB each year.  The CIB was funnelling $10 million a year, $8 million of which came from property taxes through the Consolidated Downtown TIF, for the past three years.  They are now in 'negotiations' to hand over even more cash to the Pacers.  Since they continue to receive the $8 million from property taxes, an additional $7 million might leave a $5 million 'surplus' (after what I assume will be a 'negotiated' deal to continue the $10 million extra funding to the poor Pacers).

But wait - there is a new twist.  After cutting the Council budget off at the knees because the Democrats placed a $15 million PILOT obligation on to the CIB, Mayor Vaughn is apparently interested in syphoning off some of the CIB's new tax revenue for the City.  The shell game is such that the City would ask the CIB to pay for the public safety services it receives from the City; services that are now provided free of charge.  So, the City can get a new stream of tax revenue by raising taxes for the CIB.  Since the super bowl supposedly cost $4 million in public safety, this new shell game could not possibly cover the true cost of services provided to CIB-run facilities throughout downtown.

While Mayor Vaughn refused to fund recruit classes for IMPD and IFD and says the city budget must be lean, he continues to foist more TIFs on the taxpayers, push for even more corporate handouts of tax dollars, and craft ever greater sweetheart deals with multi-millionaire sports team owners.  Priorities in this City are out of whack.  Our City government has become hardly much more than an extension of the Chamber of Commerce.

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