Friday, April 10, 2009

Progress on Abatement Review in Jeopardy

House Bill 1155, authored by newly elected Representative Cherish Pryor, appears to have been pocketed by the chairman of the Senate Local Government committee, Connie Lawson.

This bill would give the Indianapolis-Marion County City-County Council the authority to review and overturn tax abatements granted by the Metropolitan Development Commission. As the legislative and fiscal body of the City and County, it is the Council's responsibility to make appropriations and set budgets for the City, County, and Municipal Corporations each year, even though the starting point is the introduction of a budget by the Mayor of Indianapolis. With each passing year, the public becomes more interested in who is granted a pass on taxes and how much that amounts to. To expect the Council to do any more than trust the Mayor and rubber stamp his fiscal decisions is doing a disservice to all residents of our City.

HB1155 passed out of the House Committee along party lines and out of the House along party lines as well. It would seem that Republicans don't want the fiscal body of the County to have any say in who gets abatements, for what or how much. They also don't want the public to have the opportunity to challenge bad abatement decisions that end up affecting their own tax bills. There's being pro-business, and then there is being blind to giving blank checks out to businesses who use the system to gain a tax advantage.

Senator Lawson represents District 24. (link to district map) It appears to be all of Putnam County and 3/4 of Hendricks County. She can be reached at or 232-9400.

Lets talk - to Senator Lawson.


Paul K. Ogden said...

Actually I think you're misreading the politics. I think if it were a Democrat mayor in office in Indy, the politics would have worked the other way and it would have been Republicans supporting the bill and Democrats opposing it.

Both parties need to set aside politics and do the right thing by passing the bill.

Had Enough Indy? said...

You very well might be right, Paul. I know Mayor's want all the power they can get. But, the public needs to demand all the power we can get, too.

I don't want to hear boo about how tough it is for the City with the tax caps coming on line. Not with all the CIB, water company, and abatement crap going on. The knee jerk reaction is to automatically raise taxes or rates to get more money and not examine other options that might be more meaningful for the future.

Forgive me, I just finished cutting tax checks to the blood-sucking leaches ...