Council OKs proposals to help fund CIB’s 25-year plan

The Indianapolis City-County Council on Monday overwhelmingly approved proposals to help fund the Capital Improvement Board’s long-term strategic plan, including chipping in $270 million to help fund a massive overhaul of Bankers Life Fieldhouse as part of a deal to keep the Indiana Pacers in the city for another 25 years.

The council voted to approve three proposals. One proposal, approved 21-3, extends the life and footprint of the city’s Professional Sports Development Area, which will capture tax revenue from nine additional hotels to help fund the CIB through 2040. Expanding it will allow the CIB to capture from $9 million to $18 million of additional annual revenue through at least 2041.

Another proposal, which passed 23-1, extends the life of the county admissions and supplemental auto rental excise taxes, which were set to sunset, to 2040.

A third proposal, which passed 23-1, enables the CIB to borrow from the state treasurer’s office. 

Without the passage of these proposals, the CIB faced “a fiscal cliff,” Mary Soliday, the CIB’s outside general council, previously said. Soliday testified to council members in mid-May at the council's rules committee meeting, where the proposals were first approved.

The passage of the proposals will allow the CIB to “[create] a revenue stream that will allow us to maintain these important assets,” Soliday said at the time.

The PSDA already captures tax revenue from the downtown Marriott campus, the JW Marriott, the Westin and the Hyatt Regency. The new PSDA would include Hyatt Place/Hyatt House, 130 S. Pennsylvania St.; Crowne Plaza at Union Station, 123 W. Louisiana St.; Omni Severin, 40 W. Jackson Place; Embassy Suites, 110 W. Washington St.; The Conrad, 50 W. Washington St.; Hilton, 120 W. Market St.; Sheraton, 31 W. Ohio St.; The Alexander, 333 Delaware St.; and Le Meridien, 123 S. Illinois St.

Despite the overwhelming council approval, no council members spoke in favor of the proposals on Monday evening. However, Democrat Jared Evans, who voted against the proposal to extend the footprint of the PSDA, said he was concerned that “we need to get our priorities straight.”

“I want to support our home team and make sure that our stadiums are maintained, but I am fed up with our government's priorities. And if they're going to make us choose, then I choose to prioritize roads, sidewalks, and bridges,” Evans posted on Facebook after the vote. 

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