Friday, January 14, 2011

Indianapolis Star Advocates Diverting Local Option Income Tax to the Library; Sen. Merritt's Bill Proposes End Run Around Tax Caps

In an editorial yesterday, the Indianapolis Star advocated a bill introduced by Sen. Jim Merritt (R-Indianapolis) which would allow the City-County Council to divert local option income tax revenue to the library.

Sen. Merritt is one of Mayor Ballard's biggest supporter in the legislature. His bill overlooks the fact that Mayor Ballard has already diverted property tax revenue, albeit indirectly, to the Indiana Pacers. Mayor Ballard's administration is also using excess TIF funds for various projects (including the No-So development panned by investors as being too risky) rather than working to return the properties to the tax rolls.

Sen. Merritt's bill should outrage conservatives. It does an end run around the tax caps passed by the voters during the last election. A true fiscal conservative should be putting a stop to the Ballard's administration practice of funneling property taxes to politically-connected private corporations. Sen. Merritt's bill simply makes up the property tax shortfall by taking the money from the taxpayers' other pocket.

10 comments:

Pete Boggs said...

This is exactly why we need the Tea Party.

Diana Vice said...

I knew the tax cap promises where nothing more than empty rhetoric.

foretell said...

I totally disagree with your spin on this. You might be correct to argue that taxes in general are too high. That, however, was not the point of the law on property tax caps.
The argument in favor of property tax caps was that property taxes were too high relative to the income tax and the sales tax. If you will recall, the sales tax increased in conjunction with the property tax caps.
If a county is running short on property tax revenue, it is empowered by the state to increase its income tax. Unfortunately for the Library Board, it does not have the same power.
In the present example the Mayor is generously sharing the County’s wealth with the Library Board.

dcrutch said...

What are we "diverting" from? I definitely think the libraries are more important that a new Pacers scoreboard or No-So. But, I also think the libraries could get out of the movie DVD business to save some of this "diversion". I don't imagine we're getting this "generosity" from money falling from the skies. thing.

guy77money said...

Actually DC the library make a large amount of cash from people that are delinquent from bringing the DVD's back late. It comes real close to paying for the entire DVD purcahses. The big problem with the library was hiring the wrong law firm to fight the parking garage problem. They spent big money they didn't have to basically lose most of the suits and paid way to muoney in legal fees. Ask any lawyer (honest) lawyer in town. I did!

guy77money said...

Actually DC the library make a large amount of cash from people that are delinquent from bringing the DVD's back late. It comes real close to paying for the entire DVD purcahses. The big problem with the library was hiring the wrong law firm to fight the parking garage problem. They spent big money they didn't have to basically lose most of the suits and paid way to much money in legal fees. Ask any lawyer (honest) lawyer in town. I did! They all agreed the library board screwed up. Ditto for the city who throws away tons of cash to all the big firms in town.

dcrutch said...

If breaking even on DVDs also includes the staff overhead in handling them, thanks for the correction, Guy. While I enjoy the price versus rental, I don't believe DVD check-out is an essential function of government, especially when we're having trouble keeping the library doors open.

Being your own construction supervisor when you have little experience is the "gift" that just keeps on giving, isn't it? If "justice" in cutbacks were a criteria, they'd cut more severely into the main library and leave the branches alone.

Pete Boggs said...

More taxes? This is an 1800's vintage script for "A canal runs through it."

Cheryl said...

I agree w/Ogden. Furthermore, with the recent coverage on the issue of township government hoarding money, I think we definitely need to do away with township government and divert the dollars hoarded there to the libraries in our communities.

dcrutch said...

Cheryl for Empress:

I quickly found two Internet sources that list 20 of 50 states that still use township government. Granted, an Indiana legislator was interviewed this session saying eliminating township government wouldn't save money. At this point that's moot because, collectively, they're hoarding even more money and servicing fewer people NOW than when this was looked at a couple of years ago. It's becoming clear it would be very tough to do this any worse on a county level, plus there'd be greater standardization and less cronyism between the townships and the state assembly.

However, that would require the Indiana Assembly to subvert their own welfare on behalf of serving the taxpayer.

Three guesses and two don't count.