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August 28, 2016

Comments

Vox Populi

The why is simple, lowly taxpayers don't provide any 'free' perks to the local politicos other than being the source for funding.

Chris Corr

Why is the Red Line funded before local transit service? Because the Red Line funding sources are tied to a capital project, not on-going service.

It's not a matter of priority, you simply CANNOT shift the capital money over to service.

$3.3M from the USDOT planning grant? NOT for local service.
$75M federal dollars? NOT for local service.
$6M from the Consolidated Downtown TIF? NOT for local service.

Fred McCarthy

Precedent would seem to indicate that downtown influence allows the shifting of funds whenever it is desired. Current example, from the Corr comment: $6M from the DOWNTOWN TIF fund to build bus stop facilities in Broad Ripple and elsewhere! Probably illegal and certainly not within the original intent of that law.

Chris Corr

By statute TIF funds can't be spent on operations. Generally speaking, TIF funds must be spent on "hard items" such as utilities, streets, structures, etc.

As for where the TIF funds are spent, the Consolidated Allocation Area (aka Downtown TIF) is huge and there's surely well beyond $6M worth of construction to happen within the Downtown TIF. I count 6 stations that are clearly within the boundaries -- 14th, Vermont, Washington, Transit Center, Virginia/NJ and Virginia/Merrill -- plus all of the street construction to happen. $6M easy.

Karen Neiswinger

There are 2 issues: improved public transportation and Red Line.

The two concepts have been lumped together for the referendum, and this is wrong, because you can't vote in favor of improving public transportation without simultaneously voting to fund Red Line. Red Line will not benefit those who most need public transportation.

There should be 2 separate questions on the referendum: one just for improving public transportation and a separate one for Red Line.

Chris Corr

The referendum is only for dedicating 0.25% of the Marion County COIT for implementation of the Marion County Transit Plan. "Red Line" is not specifically mentioned anywhere in the referendum.

Though Red Line Phase 1 is part of the Marion County Transit Plan, it will be funded, built and operated regardless of the outcome of the referendum. In other words, it's already independent from the transit funding referendum.

Phases 2 and 3 of the Red Line depend on funding in the referendum.

Karen Neiswinger

No, Chris, this is misinformation IndyGo has put out. First, Red Line requires approval by Congress of a $10 per barrel surcharge on crude oil, a bill that Congressional Republicans have termed "dead on arrival".

Second, Red Line is NOT fully funded, and does depend on the referendum because the grant is insuffient, so the concepts of improvements to public transportation generally and Red Line are indeed separate items and need to be separated on the referendum.

Vox Populi

Per past practice in Marion County dedicating funding is a joke. How many public safety increases have we had at the local, state and federal level? And yet we still need dollars for public safety. Money is fungible once it's obtained it can be spent anywhere and in this county it often is spent elsewhere.

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