One should never surprised by our Indianapolis City-County Council whenever it comes to corporate welfare. On the Council, regardless of which party controls, there is always a bipartisan majority more than willing to hand taxpayer money to corporate interests. Fortunately, the Indiana General Assembly on occasion will put a brake on the eagerness of local officials to raise taxes or redirect existing tax revenue for the latest giveaway. The Indianapolis Business Journal reports
on the latest effort of our councilors to give away our hard earned dollars:
A bipartisan group of city-county councilors has called for a committee hearing on legislation that would use state and local tax revenue for a $150 million, 20,000-seat soccer stadium, part of a larger mixed-use development proposed by the owner of the
But the councilors—including President Vop Osili, a Democrat, and Republican Leader Mike McQuillen—stopped short of endorsing the stadium project, saying they want the opportunity to "carefully and thoughtfully engage in discussions" about the proposal and the future of soccer in Indianapolis.
“We’re not advocating for anything other than the opportunity for local government to have a say in this,” Osili told IBJ on Thursday.
A letter signed by Osili and McQuillen, as well as the council's majority leader, Maggie Lewis, and its vice president, Zach Adamson, says, "Our ability to act on this, however, is dependent on SB 543 being provided a committee hearing and the prospect of passage by the Indiana General Assembly."
The project would be a public-private partnership, with private investors chipping in about $400 million for the residential, retail and commercial parts of the project. The stadium would be publicly funded, with bonds paid off using revenue from property, income, sales and other taxes generated within the development. SB 543 would establish that funding mechanism, authorizing a Professional Sports Development Area to capture the state taxes and allows the city to create a tax-increment financing district to capture local revenue.
By the way, the term "public-private partnership" means that taxpayers assume the cost and risk of the corporate welfare project while the private company reaps the benefits from the partnership.