What started as a dispute over a pair of digital billboards in Lawrence has evolved into a battle with broad implications
for Marion County.
Johnson County officials this month approved a 7-percent tax on hotel-room stays.
During the coming weeks, a number of Indiana cities and counties will be coming to terms with their new budget realities.
The Metropolitan Development Commission has given city planners the green light to seek an expedited study that would provide
a clearer picture of what a comprehensive regional transit system could look like and how much it would cost.
A commission that has drawn $12.5 million in grants and public money to promote Indianapolis’ artistic side is awaiting word
on its future.
The airport authority should not assume a 3-percent growth rate because of the new airport, and the FFA Convention was not
as wildly successful as reported. Mayor Peterson shouldn’t be held out as a good example of a mayor who supports public transportation.
Cities and counties are looking for alternatives to asphalt as the price soars for the oil-based material and threatens
to bring paving projects and contractors skidding to a halt. The city of Indianapolis may have just found
one viable alternative that goes down like asphalt: roller-compacted concrete, or "rollcrete."
Maybe it’s a stray dog rooting through your garbage. Perhaps someone has abandoned a car amid the potholes riddling your
street. Either way, Indianapolis offers a one-stop shop for irate residents to complain. Just dial the Mayor’s
Action Center at 327-4MAC. Then get ready to wait. And wait. So long, in fact, that close to half of the
MAC’s callers hang up in frustration.
Construction of Pan Am Plaza in the mid-1980s was a major step in the evolution of Indianapolis into a sports town worthy
of hosting a Super Bowl. But the office building, parking garage, skating rinks and public gathering place came up short over
the years in other ways for both taxpayers and developer, the Indiana Sports Corp.
In 2005, assessors valued the 559-acre Indianapolis Motor Speedway at $34.4 million for property tax purposes. According to
the latest Marion County reassessment, it now has a market value of $170 million. Thousands of other businesses also would
see extraordinary spikes in property values, according to an IBJ analysis of the latest assessment data.
If the introduction of modern streetcars to one West Coast city can be replicated here, Indianapolis would see new, higher-density
housing and related retail and restaurants shadowing the line. Fallow areas crossed by the tracks would become fertile for
new investment. At least that was the case in Portland, Ore., a city mesmerizing to Indianapolis civic leaders, who last month
formed Downtown Indianapolis Streetcar Corp. They risk being run out of town on a rail: a streetcar line will cost…
At an aging building at 863 Massachusetts Ave., they pass through a metal detector and wait in line to show a clerk their
identification and copies of overdue bills. Center Township Trustee Carl Drummer sometimes helps. The Trustee’s Office received
an average of $6.9 million each of the last seven years, mostly from taxes, to provide poor relief-now known as township assistance.
But only about $2 million reached the penniless each year, with much of the difference covering administrative overhead….
Although he collects an average $6.9 million each year for poor relief, mostly from taxes, Center Township Trustee Carl Drummer
is rarely asked to explain his finances. Drummer’s budget is filed-unread-each year in the Indianapolis City Controller’s
office. The 66-employee Indiana Department of Local Government Finance reviews it, along with budgets from every other taxing
entity in the state. Year-end reports go to the State Board of Accounts, a 282-worker agency that conducts 2,700 to 3,000
audits of Indiana counties,…
County health inspectors have hardly blown the door down on huffers and puffers a year into the city’s smoking ordinance.
The Marion County Health Department took 209 complaints and issued citations against only nine businesses for fines totaling
$1,000 during the first year of the law.
Center Township has real estate holdings worth more than $10 million, according to IBJ research. The township’s robust real estate portfolio—highly unusual for an Indiana township—fits Trustee Carl L. Drummer's vision for his taxpayer-supported office. But it makes others see red.