This morning’s top front page story was headed, “Budget-strapped IPS may lay off teachers.” The first paragraph tells us the school system faces a shortage of $45 million property tax dollars.
As we looked at the headline, a particular question came to mind. Will someone in a position of authority in this city make a realistic determination as to how much of that shortage is directly due to siphoning funds away from IPS by the extravagant abuse of TIF (Tax Increment Financing) procedures?
A very recent news article (to which we referred in our blog of April 15) indicated a four-year compendium of expenditures of nearly $100 million from TIF “unrestricted cash” - sometimes referred to as the mayor’s “slush fund.”
Every local unit of government which receives revenues from property tax resources is suffering from TIF operations. How can the firing of teachers and otherwise cutting education funds be justified while blowing “unrestricted cash” on items not presented for public scrutiny?
Another aspect of the problem. “Amazon - yes or no?” One should probably presume that the educational system would be an important factor in that decision. How does the above headline read in Seattle?
Which seems to bring forth still another question. It’s all very hush-hush, but surely some of the outrageous bribe we’re offering Amazon must include TIF dollars. Are those folks hypocritical enough turn Indianapolis down on education factors while demanding dollars which ought to be going into that school system?
We know our readers are tired of hearing our question. We’re certainly tired of asking it. But...
"...when are we going to have a serious review of past and current fiscal policies, specific taxes and the rates thereof, and the expenditure of the resulting revenues?"