We’re referring to our own! We retired a number of years ago and frequently feel "out of the loop." Perhaps that’s where we are now. If so, we apologize and ask for help from our readers.
The referendum for the county transit tax refers to a "county economic development income tax" as a means of financing the proposal.
Is this a brand new tax? Is it the only tax which requires "public approval" before the City-County Council (CCC) may act? The referendum gives the county "...the ability to impose..." the tax with no direction or suggestion as to whether or not it should do so.
We are unaware of any general, direct county tax which requires approval of a referendum before the official action of adoption.
We know of no such action on tax increases for public safety purposes enacted in recent years. We’re pretty certain that the Food and Beverage Tax which provides the handouts for professional sports franchises was never subjected to a public vote.
Advocates of the transit program insist vociferously that the referendum has no connection to the so-called Red Line, which will proceed with or without referendum approval. Yet it seems clear that operational costs of the Red Line will require dedication of a significant part of those new funds to that section of the overall project.
And we believe, considering the insistence of A-1 priority for the Red Line, it is not coincidental that the final wording of the referendum is ":and implement three new rapid transit lines?"
We have supported the idea of broadening and improving IndyGo service. We believe an expanded grid of bus lines plus additional equipment will accomplish that goal, and should have every priority.
We believe that there has been no reasonable justification made for either the timing priority or the location of the Red Line, and it certainly raises the question of future priority establishment for the entire program.
Unfortunately, our cynicism appears and we wonder whether the referendum is simply cover for the spenders to say, "You voted for this" when John Doe is still unable to get across town to work.