I was reading the Indy Star online when I noticed this ad.
Mayor Greg Ballard
98.5% of homeowners’ property taxes are lower now than in 2007
It was a simple ad. There was no art connected to it or anything, but I found it as perfect fodder to those that are criticizing Melina Kennedy for taking on education as a key piece of her campaign when the Mayor has little direct control over it. I think that's a weak counterargument to Kennedy's strong position on education: that a Mayor who is actively involved in the conversation CAN make a difference.
In contrast, Greg Ballard is taking sole credit for lowering property taxes when he did little but advocate for them. He used the "bully pulpit" of the Mayor's Office to throw his support behind the tax caps that have crippled city and county government. All the while, fees and other taxes have gone up. Now, the city is apparently using TIF district funds to give the illusion of a balanced budget.
Voters approved those property tax caps after they were passed by the Indiana General Assembly. It remains to be seen how much Ballard actually had to do with the issue other than a good argument in favor of caps. Ballard's advocacy of the issue is EXACTLY, in my view, what Kennedy is proposing to do for education reform in the city.
Thus, when you hear a Ballard supporter denigrate Kennedy for her advocacy for our schools, tell them that they have to take Ballard's role in reducing property taxes off the table, too.