Thursday, September 13, 2012

TIF Proposals May Have Been Dead When Considered by Council Committee

A blogger and community activist has uncovered the fact the consideration of two TIF proposals by the the Metropolitan and Economic Development committee last week violated council rules.

Pat Andrews who runs the blog, Had Enough Indy, uncovered Section 151-30 of the Revised Municipal Code which indicates that Proposals 15 and 16 dealing with expansions of the consolidated downtown TIF and the Fall Creek TIF, were dead when they were considered by the committee: 
If a proposal is tabled by a committee and no action is taken to remove it from the table or to reassign it during a period of six (6) months, the proposal shall be deemed postponed indefinitely and shall be removed from the calendar of pending proposals.
According to Andrews, the proposal was tabled at the February 6, 2012, meeting of the Metropolitan & Economic Development committee of the Council.  That would have made the deadline August 6, 2012. Six months from that date occurred on August 6, 2012.  Councilor Vop Osili made his successful motion to untable the proposals on August 27, 2012, three weeks too late.  The measures appear dead unless Osili and his TIF supporters can muster 2/3 vote to suspend council rules.  The measures should have been considered dead.   Of course, Osili can always reintroduce the proposals.
Gary Welsh of Advance Indiana has an interesting observation on the whole TIF fiasco:
Councilor Osili made a motion to pull the proposals off the table at the committee's August 27 meeting, more than 6 months after the proposals were tabled, after the committee's chairman, Steve Talley, had already gaveled the meeting adjourned because there was no further business on the agenda. Councilor Osili persisted even after Talley left the committee meeting. Councilor Mary Moriarty-Adams then took charge of the meeting and allowed Osili to amend and pass the proposals out of committee. Osili, a minority business contractor, won concessions in the form of an amendment he offered that would directly benefit minority business owners. The downtown mafia has been holding a gun to the council's head since the start of the year to expand the scope of the city's TIF districts to bolster property tax revenues available for the Mayor's slush fund used for payoffs, bribes and kickbacks to the pay-to-play contractors and developers who bankroll the Mayor's and the councilors' campaigns. Those diverted funds, of course, deprive other taxing districts, including schools, of much-needed property tax revenues they need to operate and pay for basic government services. But the downtown mafia is more interested in lining its own pockets with your tax dollars, and it has a majority of the council in its back pocket on any given day to do with your tax dollars what they want done, the public be damned. Let's see if the council abides by the rule of law on this one or does what the downtown mafia orders it to do and passes these illegally-approved proposals.
It is interesting how there are councilors, both Republicans and Democrats, who consistently put politically-connected developers ahead of the best interests of ordinary taxpayers.  Those councilors would rather give our tax dollars to those developers, rather than have those property taxes going to fund things like libraries, schools, parks and public safety.

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