Take from poor (relief), give to CIB

April 21, 2009
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dropThat drip-drop sound you hear is not the rain outside. It’s coming from the irony dripping off the most recent Capital Improvement Board bailout proposal.

A bi-partisan group of Marion County lawmakers is suggesting that the CIB budgetary shortfall be filled (at least in the near term) with reserves built up in township trustees’ coffers. Isn’t that money—at least in part—intended for poor relief? And fire protection too.

The irony in a suggestion that lawmakers take money that was taxed out of people’s pockets in the name of helping those less fortunate and turning it over to the Capital Improvement Board, which owns sports venues predominantly filled on a regular basis by the more fortunate among us, is pretty interesting to say the least.

Not surprisingly, the proposal forwarded yesterday by Reps. Ed DeLaney, Mary Ann Sullivan, John Barnes and Jeb Bardon, all Indianapolis Democrats, and Rep. Phil Hinkle, R-Indianapolis, isn’t gaining much support from township trustees or state lawmakers. No comment yet from the representatives of Robin Hood.
  • This is beautiful!!! Actually, not a bad idea. Bringing truth in advertising to Corporate Wellfare!
  • Here's a little perspective. What do we get for $470 million?

    ($47 million annual tax increase for at least 10 years)

    Maybe keep the Colts and Pacers in the city with no additional investment from them at all.

    What did Michigan get for approximately $470 million of tax credits?

    $2 Billion of private capital investment and 7,700 jobs from four Advanced Battery Manufacturers.

    Who do you think is smarter?

  • I would agree with you, Anthony, if those stockpiled funds went for poor relief. We know that Center Township hoards cash and real estate in lieu of poor relief based on the outstanding reporting of the IBJ. The Wayne Township Trustee refuses to go along with a merger into IFD that would reduce property tax rates there for fire services. Instead, he's demanding higher property taxes and, if he doesn't get it, he's going to tap those reserves. I'd like to put pressure on all of these townships to consolidate. What the three lawmakers are proposing as I understand it is a pledge of those funds to cover short-term debt until a permanent solution is found.
  • It's pretty telling that Wash. Township Trustee Frank Short says, I'm not interested in giving them any of my money. I beg your pardon? Whose money is it?
  • Really a bad headline. Sure it turns heads, but it is not the truth. That said, I would rather the money come from already hoarded and taxed money sitting in township coffers doing no one any good then to have it come from new taxes and still have the township money sitting in a bank doing no good.
  • Congrats Indyman, you've just been sold a very nice bill of goods. How about we fix the system of this state's trustees, use the money for what it was intended, which is in fact poor relief, and find another way to bailout the Simons and pay for LOS operations. Novel idea, huh?
  • Well it seems the poor are being taken care of, and we still have stockpiles of cash, cars and real estate sitting in the portfolios of the trustees. As the IBJ has shown there are more than enough reasons to eliminate the trustee and replace them with a combination of County level offices and private charities. If a charity came to me asking for money and said their overhead was 60%, I would laugh in their faces, but that is what rate some of our trustees are collecting.

    All the trustee level does is pad their income, build political empires (the Carsons for one) and allow them to payoff political patronage positions. Boss Tweed would be proud.

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  1. I am not by any means judging whether this is a good or bad project. It's pretty simple, the developers are not showing a hardship or need for this economic incentive. It is a vacant field, the easiest for development, and the developer already has the money to invest $26 million for construction. If they can afford that, they can afford to pay property taxes just like the rest of the residents do. As well, an average of $15/hour is an absolute joke in terms of economic development. Get in high paying jobs and maybe there's a different story. But that's the problem with this ask, it is speculative and users are just not known.

  2. Shouldn't this be a museum

  3. I don't have a problem with higher taxes, since it is obvious that our city is not adequately funded. And Ballard doesn't want to admit it, but he has increased taxes indirectly by 1) selling assets and spending the money, 2) letting now private entities increase user fees which were previously capped, 3) by spending reserves, and 4) by heavy dependence on TIFs. At the end, these are all indirect tax increases since someone will eventually have to pay for them. It's mathematics. You put property tax caps ("tax cut"), but you don't cut expenditures (justifiably so), so you increase taxes indirectly.

  4. Marijuana is the safest natural drug grown. Addiction is never physical. Marijuana health benefits are far more reaching then synthesized drugs. Abbott, Lilly, and the thousands of others create poisons and label them as medication. There is no current manufactured drug on the market that does not pose immediate and long term threat to the human anatomy. Certainly the potency of marijuana has increased by hybrids and growing techniques. However, Alcohol has been proven to destroy more families, relationships, cause more deaths and injuries in addition to the damage done to the body. Many confrontations such as domestic violence and other crimes can be attributed to alcohol. The criminal activities and injustices that surround marijuana exists because it is illegal in much of the world. If legalized throughout the world you would see a dramatic decrease in such activities and a savings to many countries for legal prosecutions, incarceration etc in regards to marijuana. It indeed can create wealth for the government by collecting taxes, creating jobs, etc.... I personally do not partake. I do hope it is legalized throughout the world.

  5. Build the resevoir. If built this will provide jobs and a reason to visit Anderson. The city needs to do something to differentiate itself from other cities in the area. Kudos to people with vision that are backing this project.