Reference is to the print media editorial writers when the city was shoveling out an additional $30 million to the Pacers to maintain their rent-free (OK - $1 per year) palace.
That was fine, right? But now it is suggested that the downtown sports/meeting complex should be good citizens and pick up a one-time shot of $15 million - through the CIB - in order to more adequately fund public safety. And we are showered with editorial allegations that such a measure will make certain that downtown Indianapolis will implode and result in the loss of thousands upon thousand of jobs.
We are told in one such offering that the alternative of raising property taxes would mean only $20 for each property owner. We don’t know how that figure was reached. But the statement reminds us of the technique of a long-ago lobbyist for the teachers association. He was totally unfamiliar with the word "millions." It was always only "$15 per pupil," or "14 cents on the tax rate." (An early version of "It’s only $2 or $3 on an evening’s entertainment for the Food and Beverage Tax.")
Then, added to the current noise level, is the statement from the mayor that the proposal "...strips support of our downtown economy in order to give tax breaks to a select few." Refusing a tax increase on real property is a "tax break?" And what, Mr. Mayor, is a $10 million annual tax subsidy to a private, for-profit entertainment business?
One of the major reasons we find municipal responsibility for public safety in such dire circumstances is the fact that taxpayers generally have been stripped of their funds to allow a series of mayors to pour hundreds of million of dollars into that very downtown.
We are several years past the point where that downtown economy should have become a contributor to city revenues rather than a drain on them.
One does not know whether to laugh or cry when, simultaneously with this outcry about an attempt to fund public safety, the mayor is announcing that we can’t handle the public parks system and he is, hat in hand, asking taxpayers to put that system on an "alms" basis.
Now he wants citizens who are forced to subsidize professional sports with tax money, but who cannot afford to buy a ticket into the palaces built with that tax money, to come up with more money to use the only publicly financed recreation facility within their financial range.
It is difficult to imagine a more outrageous example of contempt for the residents of this city. One gets the impression that all would be well at city hall - and the editorial offices - if we didn’t have to waste so damned much money providing municipal services like police and fire protection for citizens outside the mile square!