Debating the toll road lease

April 16, 2008
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share
As expected, Jim Schellinger and Jill Long Thompson are making Gov. Mitch Danielsâ?? lease of the Indiana Toll Road an issue in their campaign for the Democratic nomination to face him in November.

Both Democratic candidates have said they oppose his decision to hand over operation of the road to the private sector, and they repeated that stance last night during their first, and perhaps only, debate before the May 6 primary election.

From the beginning, Daniels has contended that the lease to the Macquarie-Cintra consortium unlocked $3.8 billion for building roads and other infrastructure to make the state more competitive.

In the two-plus years Hoosiers have debated the lease, the pros and cons seem to come down to a philosophical question of whether public assets should be operated by government or the private sector.

What do you think?
  • The toll road is a lease not a purchase, the generating revenue from it will help with needed road construction projects for many years. If we had not leased it, and we kept on with the state owning it would not have generated the revenue needed for other projects and it's own upkeep. Everyone needs to realize, this is thinking and working outside of the box, it is what we asked for and got with Mitch Daniels. He has my vote to keep up with innovative government. By the way, wasn't that only a third of a percent of highways in Indiana, seems like a small price to pay for the benefit.
  • The toll road was a lease. Thank God one person in Indiana besides me understands what a lease is. (thank you JMB). We still own it and can re-lease it when the lease is up to someone else. And while owning the asset, we do not have to pay for the care and upkeep. the lessee does. It's what smart investors do to create cash flow and revenue. (Own the property and let someone else pay for all the expenses and still pay you to use it.) It was exactly the right thing to do and I applaud Mitch Daniels for being a smart business person first and a politician second.
  • Are you guys actually suggesting that the private sector could do a better job managing something that the government could?

    P.S. wrought with sarcasm...
  • That should say than
  • And we have to listen to all the Dems echoing the words of their uninformed supporters, He sold the toll road. Think about it folks before you want to lend your support to people that will take us backward. I don't know why they want to continue to give this lip service because it's a done deal, thank goodness.
  • Just to repeat for the learning disabled dems, it was a lease, not a sale. It just shows how ignorant many are including the candidates about business.

    They just released numbers that the lease has earned the State arond $200 million on interest on the $3.8 Billion. That does not include the money the State has saved on maintenance, road construction, policing etc.... And to consider the fact we were losing millions on the road since the legislature refused to raise the tolls for 20 year, it is a good deal.

Post a comment to this blog

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
  1. Apologies for the wall of text. I promise I had this nicely formatted in paragraphs in Notepad before pasting here.

  2. I believe that is incorrect Sir, the people's tax-dollars are NOT paying for the companies investment. Without the tax-break the company would be paying an ADDITIONAL $11.1 million in taxes ON TOP of their $22.5 Million investment (Building + IT), for a total of $33.6M or a 50% tax rate. Also, the article does not specify what the total taxes were BEFORE the break. Usually such a corporate tax-break is a 'discount' not a 100% wavier of tax obligations. For sake of example lets say the original taxes added up to $30M over 10 years. $12.5M, New Building $10.0M, IT infrastructure $30.0M, Total Taxes (Example Number) == $52.5M ININ's Cost - $1.8M /10 years, Tax Break (Building) - $0.75M /10 years, Tax Break (IT Infrastructure) - $8.6M /2 years, Tax Breaks (against Hiring Commitment: 430 new jobs /2 years) == 11.5M Possible tax breaks. ININ TOTAL COST: $41M Even if you assume a 100% break, change the '30.0M' to '11.5M' and you can see the Company will be paying a minimum of $22.5, out-of-pocket for their capital-investment - NOT the tax-payers. Also note, much of this money is being spent locally in Indiana and it is creating 430 jobs in your city. I admit I'm a little unclear which tax-breaks are allocated to exactly which expenses. Clearly this is all oversimplified but I think we have both made our points! :) Sorry for the long post.

  3. Clearly, there is a lack of a basic understanding of economics. It is not up to the company to decide what to pay its workers. If companies were able to decide how much to pay their workers then why wouldn't they pay everyone minimum wage? Why choose to pay $10 or $14 when they could pay $7? The answer is that companies DO NOT decide how much to pay workers. It is the market that dictates what a worker is worth and how much they should get paid. If Lowe's chooses to pay a call center worker $7 an hour it will not be able to hire anyone for the job, because all those people will work for someone else paying the market rate of $10-$14 an hour. This forces Lowes to pay its workers that much. Not because it wants to pay them that much out of the goodness of their heart, but because it has to pay them that much in order to stay competitive and attract good workers.

  4. GOOD DAY to you I am Mr Howell Henry, a Reputable, Legitimate & an accredited money Lender. I loan money out to individuals in need of financial assistance. Do you have a bad credit or are you in need of money to pay bills? i want to use this medium to inform you that i render reliable beneficiary assistance as I'll be glad to offer you a loan at 2% interest rate to reliable individuals. Services Rendered include: *Refinance *Home Improvement *Inventor Loans *Auto Loans *Debt Consolidation *Horse Loans *Line of Credit *Second Mortgage *Business Loans *Personal Loans *International Loans. Please write back if interested. Upon Response, you'll be mailed a Loan application form to fill. (No social security and no credit check, 100% Guaranteed!) I Look forward permitting me to be of service to you. You can contact me via e-mail Yours Sincerely MR Howell Henry(MD)

  5. It is sad to see these races not have a full attendance. The Indy Car races are so much more exciting than Nascar. It seems to me the commenters here are still a little upset with Tony George from a move he made 20 years ago. It was his decision to make, not yours. He lost his position over it. But I believe the problem in all pro sports is the escalating price of admission. In todays economy, people have to pay much more for food and gas. The average fan cannot attend many events anymore. It's gotten priced out of most peoples budgets.