We continue to be surprised, and distressed, by the numbers of our citizens who apparently are accepting without question the “full court press” on the location of Amazon here.
Along with a dead silence on how many hundreds of millions of public dollars we’re going to hand this corporate behemoth, we are flooded with suggestions that corporate spending, property tax increases and personal income taxes from all these new, highly paid individuals will have us breaking even shortly. And soon thereafter we’ll be on a municipal financial easy street.
And, of course, we are lacking any mention of how much of any new property tax revenues, developed in gigantic TIF districts, will be siphoned away from legitimate government programs into slush funds to be handed to any and all other “economic development” projects.
Don’t Indy residents remember, or understand, that years of the same kind of approach, on a smaller scale, have led to the recent statement by the mayor that the city’s decades long financial condition is “deplorable?” Are we to believe that doubling - or tripling - the giveaways will finally make us all wealthy?
We have a longstanding city policy of giving “incentives” to bribe private businesses to locate or expand here with new projects. We also have a longstanding policy of bowing to not-so-subtle extortion by private businesses to keep them from moving away. These are policies which guarantee abuse of the taxpayers who are accused of being ignorant cheapskates when they suggest new and/or increased taxes just may not really be in the best interest of the city.
When will the media, or some important part of city leadership, ask serious questions about past and current disposition of tax revenues? Less profligate use of those revenues surely would provide, to some degree, funds needed to take care of massive, long-accumulated but generally ignored infrastructure problems.
A look back is frequently necessary to make sure that a course correction forward is in order. We’re way overdue!