Sunday, June 26, 2011

Request for Information From You, My Valued Reader

I am still as stunned and appalled as when I read yesterday, that the Ballard administration decided to "forgo collecting business personal property taxes" from the consolidated downtown TIF area - both this year and next.  (quote from IBJ's Francesca Jarosz article "Bush fixup fans tax tensions".)

I want to know - Who has the authority to decide to forgo any taxes from anybody?  Under what legal mechanism can you fairly and justly collect a tax from one person or business, and not collect it from their neighbor or another taxpayer in your jurisdiction?  Has this been done before?  Did the Ballard administration decide to forgo taxes that should have gone to IPS, IFD, IMCPL, IndyGo, and IndyParks as well as taxes that flow to the TIF district fund?

Here's where you come in.  I do not know who has the authority to do such things.  Therefore, I don't know where to send an open records request.  I figure one of my valued readers does know.  So, please leave a note in the comments section to help me find answers.

Remember, they chose to "forgo" property tax revenues at the same time that there was much gnashing of teeth about property tax caps.  They will be crying in their soup about it yet again when budget time commences formally in August.  Help me get some answers about this issue before then.



Paul K. Ogden said...

"I want to know - Who has the authority to decide to forgo any taxes from anybody?"

I just can't imagine the scenario by which that would be legal, especially as the unilateral act of an executive official. If there is some sort of waiver at the very least there would have to be a process followed.

I would talk to the DLGF folks on Monday about this. That's a good starting point. If I am the businesses outside this district who are paying personal property taxes, I'd be furious. Why do they get a waiver? Is the economy only affecting the downtown TIF district?

Anonymous said...

A lot of people have shared responsibilities and some piece of this.

I would send it to Treasurer Mike Rodman who does the billing, Auditor Billie Breaux who signs off on the audits and exemptions, & Assessor Joseph O'Conner runs the numbers in addition to Ballards CFO and DLGF.

Anonymous said...

RTFM on TIF districts and various economic development tax credits. Those can be applied to areas "arbitrarily" to help developers retain capital for development by getting out of taxes.

The theory is that any tax shortfall is made-up for with the economic development that takes place, whether payroll taxes, local option income tax, and of course local sales taxes.