June 5, 2009Give me a break. For months people have been pleading for Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard to take a close look at the operations of the Capital Improvement Board before handing the Board yet more taxpayer money. Mayor Ballard flat out refused to even consider that the CIB was mismanaged or that we should look at the Board's operations. Finally the Governor steps in and orders a couple studies which found, according to the Governor, that CIB's performance was "embarrassing" and that the Board spent 2 to 3 times as much on facility operations as other similarly sized cities.
For Immediate Release
Contact: Dan Tierney
Mayor Ballard's CIB Leadership Saves Thousands of Jobs and Protects Taxpayers Tough Decisions, Creative Solutions Ensure Long-Term success for Downtown and All Marion County
INDIANAPOLIS-Marion County Republican Chairman Tom John praised Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard today for his leadership in crafting a Capital Improvement Board solution with Governor Mitch Daniels.
"An essential part of our Indiana economy is the hospitality industry, conventions and tourism. Mayor Greg Ballard has led from the beginning by making the tough decisions that were needed to protect 66,000 jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in economic investment. Mayor Ballard and Governor Daniels have shown true leadership finding efficiencies and making tough budget cuts to solve the problems that Ballard inherited when he took office last year.
"Many municipal leaders would have taken the easy way out by imposing broad-based tax increases on income, property, or food and beverages. Mayor Ballard continued to fight for taxpayers and ruled out all such options. Mayor Ballard's leadership moved the debate away from those proposals and his efforts over several months are laying the groundwork for state and city legislative support. Ballard has emphasized the Downtown hospitality industry's impact on the entire region and state and the Governor and legislators are appropriately acknowledging it in this latest proposal. Marion County taxpayers can thank Mayor Ballard for his leadership in crafting a solution that doesn't place the burden on the backs of all Marion County residents and will effectively save over 66,000 thousand local jobs."
As far as the claim regarding protecting the hospitality industry, please tell me how raising hospitality taxes to give Indianapolis nearly the highest combined visitor taxes of any city in the United States, is somehow good for the hospitality industry? Unbelievably Mayor Ballard is claiming that the Indianapolis hospitality industry that it will do better if it is taxed more.
Mayor Ballard has proposed raising $12 million dollars in taxes while the same time giving the billionaire Simons family $15 million so they can operate Conseco Fieldhouse, raking all the money in on that facility, while taxpayers foot the bill to run it. There is absolutely no reason to raise taxes were it not for the Mayor's plan to hand more money to the Simons family. He can now stop the tax increases by telling the Simons "no."
Oh, and it is not 66,000 "local" jobs. Those hospitality jobs are a Central Indiana figure. Most of those jobs have nothing to do whatsoever with the Pacers or the Colts, or even downtown for that matter. It is just one lie after another with these folks.
I know Tierney is just a young man trying to do his job, but there is a point at which you become placed in such an embarrassing situation that it's better to step aside and preserve one's professional reputation rather than ride down an obviously sinking ship to the ocean floor. Tierney would be well advised to update that resume and get out while he can.