Saturday, February 5, 2011

Republican State Senators Propose Eliminating Council Authority to Raise Taxes for CIB, Local Republicans To Fight Measure

Jon Murray of the Indianapolis Star has an interesting article this morning relating to future CIB tax increases the Council is authorized to consider:

Increases in the event-admissions tax and the auto-rental excise tax together could bring in nearly $8 million a year. The General Assembly authorized those hikes as part of a 2009 bailout package for the Capital Improvement Board, but they can't be increased until 2013.

A new bill proposed by Republican Sens. Michael Young and Patricia Miller of Indianapolis would strip those provisions from state law. They said recent reports showing the CIB attained budget stability last year made them wonder whether it really needs the tax options after all.

After they learn more about the CIB's financial prospects, Young said, they will decide whether to move forward with the pre-emptive repeal.

CIB and city officials plan to meet with the lawmakers soon and will urge them to retain those tax options, particularly as insurance for millions of dollars in recent state loans to the CIB.
To read the rest of the article click here.

Murray's article goes on to cite CIB budget figures. I won't recount them here as the CIB has no credibility when it comes to the figures it cites. The CIB's numbers mysteriously shift on a regular basis, apparently to meet certain political goals. The most recent goal was to show how the CIB had improved its bottom line. It appears that CIB President Anne Lathrop may have gone too far in painting a rosy legislators want to take away the Council's right to increase the admissions and car rental tax that they had previously approved.

CIB and City officials, of course, are fighting the tax increase authority repeal. Murray's article continues:

Chris Cotterill, Ballard's chief of staff, predicted that even if the admissions and auto-rental tax options stay on the books, the council wouldn't be eager to raise taxes unless it's needed.

Council President Ryan Vaughn, a fellow Republican, agreed.

"What I don't want to do is send the CIB back on the road toward bankruptcy," Vaughn said.

He added, "Even if they didn't pass this bill and (it turns out) the CIB doesn't need the money, we wouldn't pass these tax increases."

Vaughn apparently believes the issue of whether these tax increases are needed should be left up to the CIB. Can anyone conceive of a situation in which the CIB would say it doesn't "need" more money?

Why should taxpayers believe Cotterill and Vaughn when they suggest they'd hold the line on CIB tax increases? The Ballard administration has raised taxes and fees over a 100 times. Vaughn has voted for every one of those increases. There is nothing remotely fiscally conservative (or Republican) about the Ballard administration or Council President Ryan Vaughn.

It is great that Senators Miller and Young have filed this proposal, even if it doesn't pass.

On a related point, have Lathrop and the CIB established a sinking fund to pay back the state loan? I have long claimed that the CIB considers that money a gift and has no plans to pay it back.

Note: Pictured from top to bottom are Senators. Pat Miller and Michael Young


dcrutch said...

THANK YOU Senators Young and Miller! Earth to Senator Schneider: Are you listening? The CIB is out of control. Thanks to the Star and Paul.

Had Enough Indy? said...

The only way Vaughn would NOT vote for the new tax increases is if the Democrats take back the Council.

guy77money said...

H.E.I Should read "When the Democrats take back the council! ;)"

Pete Boggs said...

It's the current party paradox of those with & those against the people. Yea-rah government funded sports franchises (or any pretense of economic development) isn't good or constitutional.