City 'investments' often no such thing

June 19, 2010
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share
IBJ Letters To The Editor

Indications seem to be that many Hoosiers will wind up like Californians, who thought they had solved tax problems when Proposition 13 passed. Even if the new system does slow down property tax increases, actually capping one source of revenue will never solve taxpayer problems. Without equal emphasis on expenditures, we’re simply forcing increases in other taxes.

Locally, expenditures of tax dollars have frequently been referred to as “investments,” presumably to the ultimate benefit of the “city.” Very few people bother to define their usage of the words “investment” or “city” in these cases. Investment, in its usual frame of reference, indicates the expenditure of money with the expectation of an increased return. As a part of the downtown “economic development” program, those investments have been dismal failures as far as municipal Indianapolis is concerned.

Economic activity has been generated. But the beneficiaries are private businesses. Tax revenues produced are mainly diverted directly back to the Capital Improvement Board rather than into the city’s general fund.

For the primary benefit of two sports franchises, $1 billion worth of land and improvements are not on the property tax rolls. The land under the mall is not on the tax rolls, and it is my understanding the lease provides for no rental payment to the owner—the “city”—for the use of that land.

Priorities are sadly lacking. We’re spending $50 million on a so-called Cultural Trail, while libraries, schools, the park department and the public transportation system are facing cutbacks. And now we’re talking about $12.5 million to make three blocks of Georgia Street a “tourist attraction!” Shades of Union Station!

When will some investigative reporter be charged with finding out exactly what the Super Bowl will really mean to the “city,” specifically the general population, rather than just the downtown hospitality industry? Preferably without citing the fuzzy, warm feeling we’re all supposed to have because someone in Boston or San Francisco saw the name Indianapolis in their newspaper or on TV.
Fred McCarthy


  • Great letter
    The main priority is the transfer of wealth from the many to the few.

Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
Subscribe to IBJ