... on the front page of yesterday’s paper (7/23). It read, "Charity to help power Red line." Seems the proposed referendum will, if passed, require the establishment of a foundation to try to get people to donate ten percent of the operating cost. We’re told this is an effort to get voluntarily financial support from the business community which it rejected as a tax provision in the bill.
The fact is, however, that it is a costly, cumbersome and likely to be unsuccessful ploy. The effort will fall significantly on legitimate charities and other foundations which do not have the coercion of government available to them. (Can we expect to see a Red Line pot next to the Salvation Army kettle at Christmas?) And if the effort falls short, it comes back on the taxpayer.
Actually, the estimated annual amount is relatively small. That figure comes out at $5.6 million. But for the Red Line to net that amount would require an actual collection of $9 million to pay for the operational costs, $3.4 million, of the legally required foundation.
One should remember that this is an ongoing, annual amount. It will surprise none of our readers to know that we did a little arithmetic and that the ten year charitable gift of 160 million tax dollars we are already making to the Pacers would cover the Red Line for more than twenty eight years!
Besides, what would it do to our "world class image" if visitors see, next to our regular downtown panhandlers, a group of folks with tambourine and drum, chanting "Alms for the Red Line?"