Miller failed Brownsburg

March 22, 2014
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share
IBJ Letters To The Editor

I am writing to express my disappointment with state Sen. Pete Miller’s sponsorship and shepherding of Senate Bill 118 through the legislative process. The bill guts the tax increment finance district Brownsburg relies heavily on to fund current and future infrastructure.

Brownsburg residents and appointed and elected officials lobbied Miller to change the bill. He was made aware of the severe ramifications to our community.

A week before the vote, I met with him to discuss the bill. While we disagreed on several issues, we concurred on what Miller described as “valid concerns,” and that the legislation needed to be changed. The final bill contained none of those.

Many, myself included, simply asked for a pause to study the issue over the summer and fix the problems.

Miller’s colleagues even attempted to warn him of the ramifications to Brownsburg. During the debate, Sen. John Broden, who represents the South Bend area, read a list of communities that would see their ability to improve infrastructure impacted. Among them was Brownsburg.

Miller did see fit to exempt one community from the devastating effects of SB 118: downtown Indianapolis. This means Avon (which also relies heavily on TIF dollars to fund infrastructure) and Brownsburg will be at an immense disadvantage when it comes to building a climate to attract first-class businesses, jobs and amenities.

In IBJ, Miller cited the exemption because downtown Indy was an economic-development engine and shared revenue with local government entities. In our meeting, I made clear that not only would TIF account for nearly $1 billion of new assessed value with the completion of the Ronald Reagan Parkway, but that we also have an agreement to share dollars with other entities.

The agreement even earned praise from Brownsburg Community School Corp. Superintendent Dr. Jim Snapp at the March redevelopment commission meeting.

What makes the harm to Brownsburg and Avon even worse is when your own senator has done the harm, is fully aware, and appears indifferent, as was evident when Miller told one Brownsburg constituent via Twitter, “Such is life when balancing conflicting interests of constituents on a complex issue.”

Residents and business owners of Avon and Brownsburg deserve to know what “conflicting interests” Miller was referencing.

Which leads us to the “constituents” he alluded to. Who in Avon or Brownsburg urged the passage of this bill, and which of them was so insistent the downtown Indy exemption be included?

Rob Kendall, Brownsburg Town Council member

Brownsburg Redevelopment Commission member


  • Sounds similiar to the annexation issue
    How are the conflicting interests in this story any different to the Town of Brownsburgs annexation of areas where the residents have clearly asked not to be included in the annexation? A town annexing areas that have asked not to be annexed? What is the difference? The difference this time is it increases the towns revenue of course. We did not ask to be annexed yet with conflicting interests ( town wanting more money) and the citizens guess what the town council voted for? Such is life eh?
  • Conflict of Interest?
    Mr. Kendall brings up a very valid question for Sen. Miller. While legislators often have to balance conflicts when a proposed bill may have both positive and negative consequences for his/her myriad of constituents, that legislator has to use his/her best judgment to make a decision. But, in a case such as this, where all the entities which Sen. Miller represents stand to be negatively impacted by a proposed bill, and actively voiced opposition to said bill, what exactly are the "conflicting interests" that cause him to vote for it? Mr. Miller, the people who elected you to office deserve an answer.

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
  1. I am so impressed that the smoking ban FAILED in Kokomo! I might just move to your Awesome city!

  2. way to much breweries being built in indianapolis. its going to be saturated market, if not already. when is enough, enough??

  3. This house is a reminder of Hamilton County history. Its position near the interstate is significant to remember what Hamilton County was before the SUPERBROKERs, Navients, commercial parks, sprawling vinyl villages, and acres of concrete retail showed up. What's truly Wasteful is not reusing a structure that could still be useful. History isn't confined to parks and books.

  4. To compare Connor Prairie or the Zoo to a random old house is a big ridiculous. If it were any where near the level of significance there wouldn't be a major funding gap. Put a big billboard on I-69 funded by the tourism board for people to come visit this old house, and I doubt there would be any takers, since other than age there is no significance whatsoever. Clearly the tax payers of Fishers don't have a significant interest in this project, so PLEASE DON'T USE OUR VALUABLE MONEY. Government money is finite and needs to be utilized for the most efficient and productive purposes. This is far from that.

  5. I only tried it 2x and didn't think much of it both times. With the new apts plus a couple other of new developments on Guilford, I am surprised it didn't get more business. Plus you have a couple of subdivisions across the street from it. I hope Upland can keep it going. Good beer and food plus a neat environment and outdoor seating.