Monday, August 5, 2013

Drawing Line on Tax Increases

The local blogosphere blew up this weekend (here, here, and here) with the reports published in the Indianapolis Business Journal that Greg Ballard is looking at raising the income taxes in the City of Indianapolis to help public safety.

Unlike the three other blogs that reported on this idea this last weekend, I can support raising the income taxes to put more police on the street, but I cannot support the initiative without Mayor Ballard doing everything possible to cut his own budget in his own office and with the continued emphasis on superfluous city projects, handouts, and council pet projects.

If we are going to raise the income taxes to help public safety, it must be done only for that purpose.  It cannot be done because we want to give professional sports more money.  It cannot be done because we want a world sports park.  It cannot be done because we want to bid on another Super Bowl.  We must prioritize public safety, day-to-day city operations, and infrastructure maintenance and improvements.

On top of this, the Mayor would have to demonstrate to me that this tax increase will not only help close the budget deficit but make the budget sustainable into the future.  I did not support the repeal of the Homestead Tax Credit because I could not see the benefit.  I will not support a tax increase for a tax increase's sake.

I think Mayor Ballard also should come clean that he's no longer the candidate in 2007 that told us he could do everything he wanted to do without asking for more of our money.  We now know that he can't back that up.  

If Mayor Ballard is serious about raising taxes, he should be serious about telling the truth to Marion County residents.  If this tax increase is necessary, then none of this should be hard.  It's time to roll back the raises Ballard gave his staff.  It's time to return that money to the Rebuild Indy fund that we're spending on a world sports park, and it's definitely time to forget about another Super Bowl for now.  

Until these things can be demonstrated, I won't support raising my taxes one penny.

4 comments:

Paul K. Ogden said...

Jon, there is no chance that this Mayor is going to stop handing out corporate welfare like it's candy. Money is fungible. It doesn't matter what the tax increase is supposed to be for. That he can use the tax increase money for public safety just frees up other money to hand out as subsidies to wealthy developers. The only way to stop this is by stopping the tax increase.

Anonymous said...

Remember the 20+% raises he gave to his staff last year?!

Gary R. Welsh said...

Jon said,

"Unlike the three other blogs that reported on this idea this last weekend, I can support raising the income taxes to put more police on the street, but I cannot support the initiative without Mayor Ballard doing everything possible to cut his own budget in his own office and with the continued emphasis on superfluous city projects, handouts, and council pet projects."

So what makes you believe a tax increase will mean more police on the streets? The 2007 tax increase promised 100 new police officers. None of those additional officers were hired. The only new officers hired came from a federal COPS grant for 50 new police officers, and those weren't new position; rather, they were simply filling positions lost through attrition. We have fewer police officers now than we had before the 2007 tax increase.

Jon Easter said...

Gary,
I don't believe it will, but I also don't believe that the Mayor will come close to any of the other "demands" for my support (not that he cares about that or needs it).