Awhile back, Rick Maultra, then the head of the Indianapolis telecom agency, pointed out that Indianapolis is one of the few cities that does not charge fees from telecoms using the public right of way. The Mayor's lobbyist and paid adviser happened to be, and still is, Barnes & Thornburg partner Joe Loftus who also lobbies for AT&T, which is very opposed to paying rights of way fees. Tired of Maultra's persistence year after year, Loftus joined with B&T attorney Council President Ryan Vaughn, and two other former B&T attorneys working at City Legal, including the head of City Legal, Chris Cotterill, to have Maultra's position eliminated on behalf of a B&T client, AT&T.
When asked about Maultra getting canned for speaking out about Indianapolis not collecting rights of way fees from telecoms, the Ballard administration and several Republican councilors, including Vaughn, answered that businesses don't pay taxes, people do, and that any right of way fees simply would be passed along to the telcom customers.
Okay, let's assume that's true. Why then did a couple months later the Ballard administration push increased fees on over 100 businesses, an effort supported by the majority Republican-controlled Council? The stated reason was that the increased fees would make sure that the businesses were paying for the City's regulatory efforts and not the public. But if telecoms can simply pass along their fees to the public, then why can't these businesses do the same thing? If you are against the telecom taxes for the reason that they will simply be passed along, why not oppose the increased business fees for the same reason?
I believe that's called hypocrisy.
Fees are taxes. They will add to the costs paid by consumers. Government has far too much money already.
The no taxes for businesses only applies to ones that can line the mayor and his fellow Republicans pockets! When he raises fees on small businesses owners for fee and licenses of course the customers of these people bear the brunt. Lets hope Melina the waitress has a little more back bone then Ballard. I really doubt thou.
Lets try this again without the typos.. The no taxes for businesses only applies to ones that can line the mayor and his fellow Republicans pockets! When small business owners fees go up it's their customers that bear the brunt of these hidden taxes. Lets hope Melina the waitress has a little more back bone then Ballard. I really doubt it thou.
As I recall, Maultra was also trying to audit AT&T franchise fee payments to be sure that the giant was not shorting the City. I think it was that concurrent activity that was the source of his position's demise.
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