...we wonder, does the mayor feel it appropriate to pay a crony $750,000 to do PR work for one of his pet projects when he seems to get all the free support possible from the media on anything he wants?
Yesterday’s paper furnishes a quote from a member of the City-County Council (CCC) telling us that, if only those obstructionists in that body would go along with eliminating the homestead property tax credit, "That $2.5 million could be used to add 20 officers (per year)."
Take note of the unquestiioned use of the word "could." Not "will" be. Not even "should" be. Just a cool "take our word for it" - like the last time municipal revenue increase was (mis)used from the way it was sold.
Nor was it appropriate to point out another interesting bit of information. If $2.6 million would put 20 more police officers on the street, our old-style arithmetic tells us that the $16 million we’re handing to the Pacers every year would give us 128 more officers.
This morning’s paper also carries some interesting wording. In describing the financial maneuvering taking place, the author says, "The difference would be made up mostly by grabbing $45 million from a downtown tax increment financing district reserve fund." (Our emphasis.)
The beneficiaries of tax policies in Indianapolis have done an excellent job in legislatively compartmentalizing revenue streams. TIF money can be handed out like bubble gum to real estate developers, but not used for "...roads, sidewalks, curbs, parks and swimming pools."
Hospitality oriented taxes (food and beverage, hotel, car rental, etc.) can be used to subsidize professional sports but not for public safety, libraries or public transportation.
The result is the accumulation of huge political slush funds which are used at the discrimination of politicians without regard to the needs and wishes of the taxpaying individuals in the city.
Cricket, anyone? Are we ready for a $100,000 downtown soccer stadium? How about a billion dollar investment in public transit, one version of which currently is being reduced because of lack of riders?
Is it being a troglodyte to suggest that the mayor should have enough on his plate in handling and financing urgent civil government problems? Why does he require a deputy mayor for education? Why is he making a major issue of funding early education theories? Why do we have a school board?
It would a welcome change if those responsible for disbursing tax dollars would occasionally publicly set priorities, publish all details, then make an honest effort to determine whether a given idea or project is really in the best interests of a majority of taxpayers.
Well, yes. You’re right. Doing something in the best interests of the taxpayers here really would be a novel approach to governing!