Monday, August 12, 2013

Ballard Tax Revenues About $100 Million More Than Peterson Had

What can you say about the Ballard Administration's request to drop the local Homestead Credit (increasing taxes on most property owners and foisting higher circuit breaker penalties on schools, IndyGo, and the Library system), increase County Option Income Taxes, and a new proposal to increase the stormwater drainage fee to property owners - when Ballard's combined property and income tax revenues have been $70 million, $100 million, and more, than Peterson enjoyed in his last two years in office?  Why, you have to wonder where it all went. 

The spate of proposed tax and fee increases sent me to City budget documents to pull out the property tax and income tax revenues enjoyed by the City/County government from 2006 through 2013.  These numbers are 2006 actual, 2007 actual, 2008 actual, 2009 actual, 2010 actual, 2011 expected from the adopted budget, 2012 expected from the introduced budget, and 2013 expected from the adopted budget.   Circuit breaker penalties began in 2011 and are reflected in the revenue numbers listed below.  In 2012, the State returned $46.6 million in additional income tax revenue to the City, for errors in 2011 and 2012 - this windfall is accounted for in 2012, as that is when it was received.

Peterson's last two years in office were 2006 and 2007.  He increase the income tax by instituting a Local Option Income Tax (to reduce, somewhat, property taxes) and a Public Safety Tax, with the expectation that he would hire 100 additional police officers and handle the ever-growing pension obligation.   So, he handed Ballard an enriched budget.  In fact Ballard has enjoyed combined property and income tax revenues $70 million to $100 million more than his predecessor.  In 2010, I do not know what happened, but there was an additional windfall of about $150 million.  One also has to note that in 2009, the State took over a number of expense obligations; the aforementioned pension being one, and a $100 million annual obligation for the Family and Children's Fund that was supported by property taxes, being another.
The City is also just sitting on $80 million in a 'stabilization fund', that could help us eke by with 'only' $20 million more.
The revenue impact from tax caps, much focused on by the Ballard Administration, was easily compensated for by Peterson's income tax increases.  So, where did the money go?  And, why can't the City handle its current budget obligations with $100 million more in revenue, and fewer obligations, than Peterson had?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Question one should be, whey with increased revenue do we have less of a police presence. Question two, where does all of the money go?