Yesterday in the Indianapolis Star, writer Francesa Jarosz published the results of a StarWatch investigation looking into the MOA for the Indianapolis-to-Citizens Energy water company swap. In the details, she has found some very interesting things.
Mayor Greg Ballard's plan to sell the city's water and sewer system contains an inconvenient truth that raises questions about how good a deal it is.
Ratepayers will be asked to put up $400 million, plus some interest -- all to pay for a system that, in effect, they already paid for.
Ratepayers also will be asked to let the city keep an additional $50 million they already have paid into the system. In all, that's $450 million that could be used to offset the projected skyrocketing rate increases in the years to come.
Instead, Ballard says the city will use that money to pay for much-needed city improvements, including roads and sidewalks. Those are things, however, that normally would be paid for with tax dollars, not utility payments.
And therein also lies the political reality. What Ballard is proposing is a way to raise $450 million without technically raising taxes -- while still dipping into taxpayers' checkbooks. That, some say, sounds like a tax increase in disguise.
Read the full article here.
Still, Mayor Ballard and the Indy GOP leaves these old ads up online so that whenever things come up, we crazy Democratic bloggers in town can use them as fodder.
Democratic candidate for Mayor, Brian Williams, who has made this a central issue in his campaign to unseat Ballard, released this video questioning the specific numbers within the water deal.
Oh yeah, and how's that crime thing going for you, Mr. Mayor. So, I guess we can ask that question again, "Had Enough?"