As Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels’ team gets ready to unveil a plan to address the Capital Improvement Board funding shortfall, one of the biggest challenges the administration will face is selling the plan to outstate lawmakers. Lawmakers argue that the people who benefit from the facilities, should help pay for them. I agree because the entire state of Indiana benefits from downtown Indianapolis, so the entire state should help pay, in the form of sales taxes. As I have said before, downtown Indianapolis is a major economic engine for this state. It generates millions of dollars in sales tax revenue which goes to pay for other programs across Indiana, including schools. That’s right schools.
Remember this folks, when we did the property reform of 2008, we took the operational costs of schools off the property tax rolls and used the sales tax increase to help pay for them. The state also assumed the costs of police pensions and child welfare services. The money generated from downtown Indianapolis, helps pay for those schools, pensions and child welfare services.
It’s estimated downtown Indy generates $250 million for the state of Indiana in sales tax revenue. In a perfect world, the sales tax revenue generated from these facilities would be used to pay for them and then the rest would go elsewhere, just like any normal business model. Unfortunately, the short-sightedness of some lawmakers does not allow them to see that letting downtown fail is political equivalent of cutting off your nose to spite your face.
So if downtown Indianapolis was to fail, I am sure Hoosiers in other parts of Indiana would love to see their taxes go up to pay for these programs that they solely benefit from. Just as I am sure they have no desire to help Marion County with its problems, it will be more than justice for the citizens of Marion County to return the favor. Good luck guys finding the money to pay for your schools, police pension and child welfare programs. You’re going to need it.