A plan to use of combination of user fees and taxes to close the Capital Improvement Board’s $47 million operational deficit may have come to a halt even before it had a chance to really get out of the gate.
Republican State Senator Luke Kenley tells me reaction to the plan unveiled last week has been very negative. He says the public doesn’t want to pay more taxes in the economy, there is a growing resentment towards the owners of the Colts and the Pacers and none of the stakeholders are crazy about ponying up more cash.
Kenley says Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard is looking at an alternative proposal, but until that plan is unveiled lawmakers need to keep something viable on the table even if it may not pass the Legislature.
Some ideas that have been floated include expanding the downtown sports district to capture more state sales tax revenue, however that is not popular with some state lawmakers because they don’t want to give up that revenue.
In addition, Sunday alcohol are not that likely, but Marion County may get a local option sales tax for alcohol similiar to the original state plan penny on a beer or glass of wine and two cents on a shot glass.
Kenley also acknowledged that public perception that there has been a lack of trust is a valid one. And one result may be to reform in the CIB reporting its financial status. Oddly enough, the CIB’s financial committee meets later today to outline more potential budget cuts.
Kenley also says the Colts and Pacers need also be more open with the public.
Despite those challenges, Kenley says he’s hopeful a deal can be worked out before lawmakers adjourn on April 29.
You can hear my entire conversation with Senator Kenley by clicking the link below.