Monday, August 30, 2010

Mayor Ballard Uses Property Tax Money to Free CIB Money to Fund the Pacers

During the "debate" over the Pacers' bailout a couple months ago, City officials assured the public that property taxes would not be used to fund the CIB's $33.5 million giveaway to the Simons, billionaire owner of the Pacers. It turns out that was not exactly true. The Indianapolis Times reports:
According to last week's Indianapolis Business Journal:
The Capital Improvement Board’s 2011 operating budget is projected to increase by $10 million over this year's budget—the same amount the organization initially will provide to the Indiana Pacers under a new funding agreement reached last month.

But CIB President Ann Lathrop insists funding for the Pacers to help operate Conseco Fieldhouse, which totals $30 million over the next three years, is not the only reason for the larger, $73.1 million operating budget.

In addition, the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association is slated to receive $8 million from the CIB next year. Unlike previous years, that the money will not come from CIB revenue but from downtown-development funds. The CIB typically funds about 70 percent of the ICVA’s budget.

It was the last paragraph -- the one mentioning how the CIB was going to use at least $8 million in tax revenue to fund the ICVA -- that really caught our attention.

Is it coincidence that the $8 million in taxpayer money earmarked from the ICVA just about equals the amount of money for the coming year that the city has promised to pony up to bail out the Indiana Pacers?

If you remember, it was Mayor Greg Ballard who insisted that not a dime of taxpayer money would be used to bail out the Pacers and its billionaire owner.

While I have no doubt that the mayor will continue to insist that no taxpayer money is being used to help the Pacers, I think it would be safe to assume that the only reason the CIB is spending $8 million in your tax money on the ICVA is because of its obligations to the Pacers.

The CIB has funded the ICVA for years, but the the CIB has never had access to TIF funds, and has always funded the ICVA with a portion of its own revenues. There's only one reason that the CIB is now using TIF proceeds to fund the ICVA -- because it's short the $10 million it gave the Pacers.

The CIB, Mayor Ballard and administration officials will vehemently deny using property taxes to fund the Pacers, but the point here is that if those million of dollars hadn't gone to the Pacers, the CIB wouldn't need access to your tax dollars to fund the ICVA.

The mayor promised not to use tax dollars to bailout out the Pacers, so like any screwed sidewalk shill he's playing a shell game with your tax dollars.

Not sure what else to say. It's a sad day when we have a Republican Mayor who is so far off the mark that he makes a partisan hack like Terry Burns (no offense Terry) right on the mark.

The Mayor's administration is just playing a shell game. Instead of the CIB funding ICVA, ICVA taps into property taxes for $8 million so the CIB can give the Pacers $10 million, money the most of which would have gone to the CIB were it not for the Mayor's giveaway.

How stupid does the Mayor and his staff think we are?


Cato said...

This really is just theft. No greater organized crime ring has ever been conceived than the government. If you stole $33 million from the City's bank account, they'd track you across the world for taking taxpayer money.

If you grease the right people so the City hands you that same $33 million from the taxpayers' bank account, you're hailed as a civil leader and praised in IBJ.

Capone should have run for office. The Simons and Irsays make Al look like a piker.

Downtown Indy said...

Capone only ran his crime syndicate for 11 years. The CIB is in their 28th year, or thereabouts.

Had Enough Indy? said...

Does this mean the Ds will vote against the CIB budget?

guy77money said...

Once again the first line of the Godfather comes to mind "You can steal more with a brief case then you can with a gun." Hey if the world ends in 2012 then at least the city will win! ;)

dcrutch said...