Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Will the CIB's New Found Wealth Get SB 90 a Hearing?

It's easier to follow the plot of Games of Thrones than it is to track the fortunes of the CIB.  Is today a day when the CIB is rich? Or, have they fallen once more on the verge of bankruptcy? 

Whenever budget time comes around, when a PILOT is discussed, or when  the Mayor's office gets an itching for an even bigger CIB slush fund - well, then the CIB is pennies away from bankruptcy court.  At those times, its a wonder Peter Francis Geraci hasn't been placed on their Board.

And, after pleading poverty in order to get their hands on two new tax increases, the CIB just yesterday managed to find $2 million for Lucas Oil Stadium improvements.  Maybe they found the money in the seat cushions.  At budget time they weren't sure they had enough money to get matching carpet for the older sections of the convention center.

This $2 million follows the additional $10 million ($5 million from 2012 funds and $5 million from 2013 funds) recently handed over to the Simons.  It seems the CIB was $12 million better off than they led us to believe.  Some might think they knew about these 'expenses' when they were protesting the $15 million PILOT levied against them by the Council Democrats.  That, of course, was before eight of the Council Democrats caved in and swapped the PILOT for two tax increases.  But, I digress.

Let's not forget who is running the show.  The Mayor gets 6 of the 9 appointments to the CIB.  The same Mayor who wants to neuter the Council (and gets most of the Republican Councillors' blessing to do so).  The same Mayor who puts out to the press the possibility that THIS next budget may have to include police and fire layoffs to make ends meet.  This same Mayor who is spending tens, if not hundreds of millions from TIF slush funds, Airport slush funds, and CIB slush funds to make certain people wealthy and help others climb higher on the Forbes richest people in the world list.  This Mayor's priorities are screwed up and he needs to be held accountable.

All the CIB stuff hitting the fan yesterday, made me wonder what happened to Senator Mike Young's bill to cut off the two recent CIB tax hikes after 10 years.  That's SB 90 and it seems to have cleared the Senate on a party line vote - Democrat Mark Stoops joined all Republicans in voting for the bill.  That was February 12.  On February 26 it was assigned to the House Ways & Means committee, where it appears lifeless.

Maybe the House will now find ample reason take action on this bill.  Its the least they can do to protect the public from paying taxes for frivolous items that will never benefit the community.


Anonymous said...

I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for the bill to get a hearing. What I believe is happening is just a "heads up" to the CIB. Something along the lines if you don't play nice we'll take our toys and go home...

Had Enough Indy? said...

I'm not sure the CIB ever played nice.

It should be disbanded.