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CIB to fight council's attempt to take $15 million

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A $15-million payment from the Capital Improvement Board of Marion County to the city of Indianapolis is looking unlikely for 2013.

The board’s directors voted Thursday afternoon on three actions that will circumvent the $15 million payment-in-lieu-of-taxes, or PILOT, which the Indianapolis City-County Council included in the CIB’s budget.

Council Democrats were counting on the PILOT to fund a police and firefighter recruit class and to help close a gap in the city’s roughly $1 billion 2013 budget. The CIB is a municipal corporation that runs downtown properties, including Banker’s Life Fieldhouse and Lucas Oil Stadium, which are exempt from property taxes.

Without the $15 million, the city will have to spend more of its rainy-day fund than Mayor Greg Ballard had anticipated in his version of the city’s budget. Ballard and the council are at odds over imposing the fee on the CIB, but Ballard opted to let the board fight its own legal battles.

The CIB’s directors voted unanimously to appeal the property-tax assessment that resulted in the $15-million PILOT. CIB officials argue that Marion County Assessor Joseph O’Connor should have assessed the properties by March 1 if the city wanted to impose a PILOT for 2013. Further, the CIB’s leadership said they haven’t even received the assessment yet.

The CIB will also ask the State Board of Accounts to determine whether its budget was properly approved by the council, and whether to follow the 2012 or 2013 budget in the meantime.

“We’re kind of walking new ground here,” CIB Chairwoman Ann Lathrop said.

The CIB’s vote was 7-0 with two members absent: City-County Council President Maggie Lewis and Jay Potesta.

If all else fails, the CIB would consider taking legal action, Lathrop said.

“We just don’t believe it’s prudent,” she said of the PILOT. “We’re on our way to solvency and this would derail that.”

The once cash-strapped CIB expects to have a cash balance of about $67 million by year’s end. But Lathrop, insists that much of the reserve—$52 million—is earmarked for improvements to the properties it operates and debt payments.

The council scheduled a special meeting Thursday evening where it will attempt to override Ballard’s line-item budget vetoes. Democrats are the majority with 16 members on the council, but it takes 20 votes to override a veto.
 

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  • Irresponsible
    I think everyone is happy to see someone standing up to the irresponsible appointees on the Capital Improvement Board who don't care about wasting our public's money. I wish it was our Mayor doing it, but our Mayor has never demanded any accountability from the CIB so I guess we shouldn't be surprised.. The CIB's handling of the Pacer $33.5 million giveaway three years ago was reprehensible, a complete abdication of the public's trust. The Legislature should dissolve the CIB and send Lathrop and her worthless crew packing.
  • CIB?
    it would be a shame for CIB BOD to not have ther 250,000 a year salary with a 500 dollar a month car allowance and there city gas cards. Lets not forget that they all drive hundred thousand dollar cars and get kickback from companys they grant contracts.If you ever met a CIB BOD you would know without knowing by there egotistical statements of ownership of the city as well as the cleshay " Do you know who i am ".
  • CIB $$
    ITS NOT THEIR $$. ITS OURS. This organization is so egotistical and filled with conflict of interest as to be ridiculous. Look at the bios for each of the CIB members and you'll see what I mean. But hey, taxpayers don't seem to care.
    • CIB=MAFIA
      Amazing how Ann and her cronies screw over Joe Citizen. It's not their money and now the taxpayers get to pay BT legal fees. These peeps must be transplanted from East Chicago/Gary. No ethics and certainly no morals. If you live in the suburbs all you are a slave to the power elites that run this banana republic. You get a Mayor and his cronies who fraudulently give taxpayer assets like a fire station and land to developers and call it a sale when there are NO SALE PROCEEDS. The city takes property from the tax rolls and places it in TIFFS (Mayors private slush fund for his crony pay to play buddies) and then coughs and says to Joe Citizen we need to raise your taxes! UNETHICAL!

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    1. to mention the rest of Molly's experience- she served as Communications Director for the Indianapolis Department of Public Works and also did communications for the state. She's incredibly qualified for this role and has a real love for Indianapolis and Indiana. Best of luck to her!

    2. Shall we not demand the same scrutiny for law schools, med schools, heaven forbid, business schools, etc.? How many law school grads are servers? How many business start ups fail and how many business grads get low paying jobs because there are so few high paying positions available? Why does our legislature continue to demean public schools and give taxpayer dollars to charters and private schools, ($171 million last year), rather than investing in our community schools? We are on a course of disaster regarding our public school attitudes unless we change our thinking in a short time.

    3. I agree with the other reader's comment about the chunky tomato soup. I found myself wanting a breadstick to dip into it. It tasted more like a marinara sauce; I couldn't eat it as a soup. In general, I liked the place... but doubt that I'll frequent it once the novelty wears off.

    4. The Indiana toll road used to have some of the cleanest bathrooms you could find on the road. After the lease they went downhill quickly. While not the grossest you'll see, they hover a bit below average. Am not sure if this is indicative of the entire deal or merely a portion of it. But the goals of anyone taking over the lease will always be at odds. The fewer repairs they make, the more money they earn since they have a virtual monopoly on travel from Cleveland to Chicago. So they only comply to satisfy the rules. It's hard to hand public works over to private enterprise. The incentives are misaligned. In true competition, you'd have multiple roads, each build by different companies motivated to make theirs more attractive. Working to attract customers is very different than working to maximize profit on people who have no choice but to choose your road. Of course, we all know two roads would be even more ridiculous.

    5. The State is in a perfect position. The consortium overpaid for leasing the toll road. Good for the State. The money they paid is being used across the State to upgrade roads and bridges and employ people at at time most of the country is scrambling to fund basic repairs. Good for the State. Indiana taxpayers are no longer subsidizing the toll roads to the tune of millions a year as we had for the last 20 years because the legislature did not have the guts to raise tolls. Good for the State. If the consortium fails, they either find another operator, acceptable to the State, to buy them out or the road gets turned back over to the State and we keep the Billions. Good for the State. Pat Bauer is no longer the Majority or Minority Leader of the House. Good for the State. Anyway you look at this, the State received billions of dollars for an assett the taxpayers were subsidizing, the State does not have to pay to maintain the road for 70 years. I am having trouble seeing the downside.

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