Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Ballard Administration's Funny Job Creation and Homicide Numbers

In a press release issued yesterday, the Mayor announced that during 2010 the City secured committments for 8,737 new jobs and $934 million in capital investments, setting records.

The key word is "committments." Are these "committments," legally enforceable? Nope. They, like the ACS 200 job promise, are simply empty promises that may or may not materialize. If a company doesn't come through with its promise as far as jobs or capital investment there is zilch the City can do.

In the same press release, the Mayor bragged about how for every $1 in tax abatements, the City received private investment committments of $17.88, a record.

Wow, there's that qualifying word again, i.e. "committment." Why doesn't the City go back and see if these companies actually follow through with their promises instead of just basing calculations on unenforceable promises made by companies wanting tax abatements?

If the City were actually getting a 1,788% return on its investment in abatements, why would the City "invest" in anything else? Of course, these numbers aren't reality.

Yesterday, the Indianapolis Star had a story about how the homicide rate under Ballard remains lower than it was under former Mayor Bart Peterson. The Ballard administration talks about "criminal homicides," on its watch, therefore excluding a signficant number of homicides from its calculations. But when the Ballard administration talks about homicides during Peterson's term, they talk about ALL homicides, not just the criminal ones.

Throwing out funny numbers is a time honored political tradition. It is a shame that the media is so unwilling to question the methodology behind those numbers.

4 comments:

Had Enough Indy? said...

They are giving out abatements like there is no tomorrow. That's how they are generating these 'theoretical' jobs numbers.

One of their better ones affected my area of town. Monarch Beverage was given a sizable abatement to move FROM Decatur Township TO Lawrence Township - and they clearly stated they would be adding no additional jobs. They would be building a new $45 million building, but they left us with an empty existing building that had room for expansion.

When you only add the increased numbers, and don't deduct the decreased numbers, you get these kinds of numbers.

Had Enough Indy? said...

One more example still in the works. The No-So deal. They are claiming the city's investment is only $9 million for infrastructure and the return is a $155 million development. Forget about the city's proposed $86 million loan to the developer - which puts the taxpayers at considerable risk. They ignore as a city contribution, the $15 million to Lilly, the application of 100% of the property tax revenues for 10 years to repay the loan (amounting to at least $12, if the development is completed), and the $5 million from the State for this supposed 'technology park' status that the city will just turn over to the developer as well.

Its phoney-baloney accounting.

Rick Wilkerson said...

I heard a report on NPR this morning about US homicides. Seems they are down virtually everywhere, so Ballard taking credit for even a slight downturn here (whether it actually exists or doesn't) isn't very credible.

Worse: guess how many homicides in Los Angeles in 2010? 297, with a population in LA County of just under 10 million. Versus 120 here, which is 40% of the LA number, but we have just under 800,000 in Marion County, or about 8% of LA's population.

Looking good.

Jon said...

Those jobs are as specious as the 60K plus jobs touted for sports, conventions and hotels. We all know the old saying about liars, damn liars and statistics.