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February 19, 2017


Karen Neiswinger

Every time the Council raises taxes they make surrounding counties more attractive for people with good-paying jobs. It's not like the money confiscated from the public would go to improving the poorly-performing Indianapolis Public Schools, or to improve the horrible condition of city streets.

Why doesn't the Council take into consideration the fact that 2 questions were intentionally combined on the ballot--general bus service improvements and the controversial Red Line, and parce expenditures accordingly? Why don't they consider the misrepresentations of IndyGo and the Chamber about the alleged benefits of Red Line, that the public was told it was a "done deal" and how they touted the concept of "social justice" by improving public transportation for less fortunate as a means of obtaining the support of civic and church organizations? Why is IndyGo's focus, and current priority Red Line?

Many have written Councilors to point out that IndyGo's numbers keep changing, including, importantly, the amount of tax subsidy each bus ride costs taxpayers, plus the fact that most Indianapolis residents do not and don't want to, ride a bus. Why doesn't the Council also consider the real reason why the Chamber supports raising everyone's taxes, instead of businesses paying a living wage or subsidizing their employees' transportation needs?

If the Council raises taxes, it should be solely to improve public transportation for those who rely on the bus. Red Line's funding is gone, but the public was told that tax money would go just to operate, not build the system, and that was a factor that went into the public's vote. There should be a string attached to any tax increase for transportation that no money is to be used for Red Line or any other BRT until or unless the federal money is appropriated. Basic justice requires this.

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