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Johnson County considers more fees for revenue boost

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The wide range of new or increased fees being considered by a central Indiana county comes as many counties across the state are looking for new sources of revenue because of statewide property tax caps.

Johnson County officials are considering charging a $20 fee whenever the Sheriff's Department calls tow trucks for vehicles involved in crashes, abandoned or seized as evidence, the Daily Journal reported in a story Thursday. A $100 fee would be charged when the county dive team pulls a vehicle from a drainage pond.

The animal control, planning and parks departments in the county just south of Indianapolis also are considering new or increased fees, such as for permits or licenses, county Commissioner Tom Kite said.

"It's unfortunate but necessary," Kite said.

David Bottorff, executive director of the Association of Indiana Counties, said that while the group doesn't track such user fees, he knows that more of the state's 92 counties are turning to them.

He said state law limits what services are subject to county fees and they can't exceed what it costs the county to provide services such as providing building or health department permits.

"On one hand, you can make the argument that the people using that particular service are paying for that service and it's not being subsidized by general property tax dollars as much," Bottorff told The Associated Press.

Kite said any new or increased fees for Johnson County would be in line with what surrounding counties charge.

Johnson County Sheriff Doug Cox said Indianapolis police charge a $90 towing fee.

Towing fees are expected to bring in about $75,000 a year for Johnson County, based on the number of tow trucks the sheriff's office has requested over the past several years, Cox said.

The sheriff's office will cover its administrative costs by charging the new fee, Cox said. Any extra money could go to equipment such as new radar guns and training such as for accidents investigations.

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  • tickets
    How about you just hire more traffic cops and put even more of them along Morgantown Road to write even more speeding tickets??? I am kidding of course. Those tickets are obviously just an attempt to raise revenue. There are much better uses of a police officer's time and the taxpayer's dollars than writing speeding tickets, especially where the speed limit is already artificially low.

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  1. The east side does have potential...and I have always thought Washington Scare should become an outlet mall. Anyone remember how popular Eastgate was? Well, Indy has no outlet malls, we have to go to Edinburgh for the deep discounts and I don't understand why. Jim is right. We need a few good eastsiders interested in actually making some noise and trying to change the commerce, culture and stereotypes of the East side. Irvington is very progressive and making great strides, why can't the far east side ride on their coat tails to make some changes?

  2. Boston.com has an article from 2010 where they talk about how Interactions moved to Massachusetts in the year prior. http://www.boston.com/business/technology/innoeco/2010/07/interactions_banks_63_million.html The article includes a link back to that Inside Indiana Business press release I linked to earlier, snarkily noting, "Guess this 2006 plan to create 200-plus new jobs in Indiana didn't exactly work out."

  3. I live on the east side and I have read all your comments. a local paper just did an article on Washington square mall with just as many comments and concerns. I am not sure if they are still around, but there was an east side coalition with good intentions to do good things on the east side. And there is a facebook post that called my eastside indy with many old members of the eastside who voice concerns about the east side of the city. We need to come together and not just complain and moan, but come up with actual concrete solutions, because what Dal said is very very true- the eastside could be a goldmine in the right hands. But if anyone is going damn, and change things, it is us eastside residents

  4. Please go back re-read your economics text book and the fine print on the February 2014 CBO report. A minimum wage increase has never resulted in a net job loss...

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