Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Airport Authority Wins...State Wins...City Wins...Property Taxpayers Lose
The Indianapolis Airport Authority announced that it's looking for ways to redevelop the 8,100 acres of land that sits currently off the property tax rolls in Decatur Township, Wayne Township, and in Hendricks County.
According to an article in the Indianapolis Star, the huge tracts of land currently occupied by the old airport terminal and parking lots could become some sort of "aiport city" attraction that would no doubt bring in dollars to the city and state in the form of sales tax and to the airport in the form of revenue, but the taxpayers in the various townships and municipalities would certainly lose out because all of that land as generates $0 in taxes. The Airport Authority is a governmental entity.
The taxpayers would continue to get shafted as the airport gets a free ride to profit. There has to be a reasonable solution to this, but I honestly don't know what it is. Perhaps the Airport Authority could work with a potential developer and actually sell them the land with specific zoning committments attached to it? That way, the land would go into the private sector and thus be on the tax rolls. That's just a silly suggestion from a neophyte that doesn't know the rules, honestly. I don't know what the airport can and can't do. It just seems wrong to me that all this land generates no tax dollars.
I doubt the Airport Authority wants to change the status quo except to redevelop the land within a plan they approve. I can't say that I honestly blame them. It's just nice to hope for some further property tax relief from more land being back on the tax rolls instead of being held in reserve for future projects. Actually, the prospect of whatever "airport city" might become sounds rather interesting. I just wish it helped out the local taxpayer a little bit. Lord knows we get it from every side!