Delaying Indianapolis criminal justice center would raise costs

April 25, 2015

Opponents of the judicial center financing and construction package should ease off. The city needs it. Here are reasons to go forward.

1. Delay is expensive.

2. Changing providers is expensive, assuming that a fee for cancellation is part of the deal, and a new request for proposals and responses will generate new costs.

3. The project is not $1.1 billion. The construction cost is $408 million.

4. Tax-exempt bond financing is likely to be more expensive because a public authority must be created or expanded to sell bonds and to manage the property. Also, a bond issue probably requires a public referendum, which is expensive to mount, costly to advocate, open to defeat and time-consuming.

5. The net cost of private financing might be similar to the cost of tax-exempt bonds because tax-exempt bondholders pay no taxes on the income. Lenders making private loans pay state, local and federal taxes on the income.

6. Creating jobs now is better than creating jobs later.

7. The forthcoming mayoral election probably will change the players, resulting in further delay and additional costs.

John Guy

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