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Why Wishard Works For Me

For most of the Wishard referendum debate, I’ve basically been neutral.  I understand the need for building a new facility, but I also understand the taxpayers have been burned on projects like the Library and Lucas Oil Stadium. I’ve heard arguments on both sides and critically watched presentations by both proponents and opponents. However, it was a letter that came in the mail to my wife the other day that took me off the fence.  It was her property tax bill.

She was glad that due to tax caps her bill had virtually been cut in half since 2007.   I decided to do a little closer inspection and look at each unit of government and how much they were taking, specifically Health and Hospital. The Health and Hospital portion of her bill has dropped 112% since 2007 and only made up 7% of her current tax bill. When I saw that, I decided the Wishard referendum works for me.

Many opponents of the referendum say they are concerned the bonds Wishard wants to float will be backed by property taxes and if’ Wishard’s revenue stream, which is funded in part by its nursing home revenue, is disrupted  it will result in a tax increase.  I think the criticism is legitimate, but not fatal.

Let’s assume the worse and there’s a 10% increase in the Health and Hospital portion of my wife’s tax bill to pay for the construction.   By my count, she’s forking over an extra $4 a year.   She spends $4 a day on Starbucks.  A good glass of scotch will cost me $8.  I think we can afford it.  And to put it in even more perspective that $4 increase comes in the heels of more than $600 in property tax deductions she now enjoys due to the caps.

However, I doubt things would even get that far.  In order for there to be a tax increase, Health and Hospital would have to go to the City-County Council and get permission since it is a municipal corporation.  And I don’t see anyone on the Council approving a property tax increase for the Hospital.  If anything, I see more scrutiny in Wishard’s future as Councilors will be watching closely and monitoring cost overruns.  And the public should be there as well, watching and paying attention and holding officials accountable.

Like I said, I started out in neutral and after looking at how under the worse case scenario a 10% increase in Health and Hospital translates into a less than a penny a day from our combined income, Wishard is something we can live with. Now there are some people that taking a penny is too much and they are free to vote their beliefs.  But for us, it’s no big deal.

  • Dave

    Taxpayers are referen-damned if they do, and better off if they don't.

    Citizens deserve better from the people who claim to “represent” them.

  • Nick

    Ok, if you didn't get it, try this.

    Cook County Hospital (John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital) in Chicago replaced a sprawling 13-building campus, whose main pavilion was opened in 1914. They spent approximately $626.3 million (including cost over runs to replace all the medical equipment) to create a 464 bed hospital that serves the same type of clients as Wishard. It open in 2002.

    Now look at the Wishard plan. They plan to spend $750 million to build a new 300 bed hospital. THIS IS $123 MILLION MORE EXPENSE FOR 164 LESS HOSPITAL BEDS.

    Don't forget by targeting 300 hospital beds for the New Wishard, they will be reducing their current bed capacity by 53 beds.

    How can a low cost state like Indiana spend MORE for LESS in the best buyers market for construction materials and labor in our lifetimes???????

  • Nick

    Clarian spent $284 million for its new 170 private bed only hospital in Carmel in 2006.

    Based upon the price per bed cost of Clarian's Carmel Hospital, the new Wishard Hospital would have up to 451 private beds.

  • melyssa

    Gosh Abdul? What about those of us whose property tax bills have INCREASED, not decreased? Should we go along with it to because your wife's bill somehow managed to decrease?

    My mortgage payment went up several hundred dollars a month since this property tax problem started. And it will increase even more if Wishard referendum passes.

    Abdul, if the referendum does not pass, Wishard can still build its hospital. It just can't use my property as collateral to do it.

    How many more government spending increases can I endure before I can no longer afford to stay in my home?

  • John Doe

    “How many more government spending increases can I endure before I can no longer afford to stay in my home?”

    Why wait for a socialist/liberal government to continue to slowly decimate the fruits of your labor to the point you have to flee to safety? Move _NOW_!! You, Gary, everyone else who is sick and tired of the Marion Co./Indy elites who keep putting their hands in the cookie jar just so they can driver around in expensive cars, and live in fancy, costly homes.

  • melyssa

    I don't want to ever move from my neighborhood. Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted to live where I live today. I worked hard coming from where I came to live where I get to live today.

    Why should I give up my dream?

    It's not just Marion county elites getting rich off Marion county taxpayers, a lot of them live up in Hamilton County. Ir$ay comes to mind. I'm quite sure when you do your homework, you'll learn a big percentage of the people behind the Wishard referendum live up there.

    Remember the arts budget? The woman who led the “Save Indy Arts” social media campaign owns Gracie Communications in Fishers (Hamilton County). She sure had a lot to personally lose (contracts) when Marion county taxpayers needed to tighten their belts. That's one of many examples of Hamilton County people who push agendas on Marion county taxpayers because they personally benefit. They are adept at using the sick and disadvantaged to do it.

  • http://twitter.com/IndyStudent Matthew Stone

    Just because a liberal says it doesn't make the “if you don't like it here then you can GET OUT” any better. It was dumb when Bush and co would use it, and it's dumb now.

    Believe it or not, people have the right to voice their opinions and live where they wish. Not all of us decide to live based on politics. Sometimes people do so due to professional reasons, sentimental, and personal reasons too. I'd love to live in Boston because the city (and state) is filled with great history, even though I'd probably never agree with most of the politicians in that area.

    As someone who's not set in stone in my position, I'd be a lot more comfortable with the referendum if HHC was doing this in an open and honest way, and that the media would give a fair shake to both sides of the issue. But HHC has rushed this through as secretively as possible, during a non-election year giving proponents a huge advantage, and with the huge support from PAC's and use of city property to promote the referendum, opponents of it just don't stand a chance at being heard.

    I also find it funny that you are trying to make it seem as if this is a liberal vs conservative issue. In making that the downtown elites seem as if Gary Welsh and co are against them because of political reasons. I have a number of liberal friends who care for the ICVA and CIB as much as Gary does.

  • Indiana_Barrister

    Melyssa,

    I'm not telling you to do anything. I'm just telling you the decision made in on our end and why. You're a big girl. Last time I checked, nobody could tell you what to do, and rightly so.

  • Indiana_Barrister

    And for the record, if Wishard uses revenue bonds it will cost you more in interest payments.

  • John Doe

    “I don't want to ever move from my neighborhood. Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted to live where I live today. I worked hard coming from where I came to live where I get to live today.

    Why should I give up my dream?

    It's not just Marion county elites getting rich off Marion county taxpayers, a lot of them live up in Hamilton County.”

    This will never end. I once thought like you, that people need to have a “home.” I believe this comes from the US governments push that people own land so:
    #1: The lending/consumer debt industrial complex will work. Homes are massive debt loads for most people, especially since all those $70-$100K/year factory jobs are gone for the non-college educated types.
    #2: This helps with taxation of people more so than if most folks just rented smaller living spaces.

    My whole family lives here in central Indiana. However, after traveling out west, I know that major cities could face the worse of the coming crash. A major focus of mine is to pay off my home ASAP, save all that interest I would pay to a bank and put it in my bank account, and have enough money saved to be able to up and move to more stable/better areas if need be. Right now things aren't to that point, so I am comfortable staying here. However, there is no way I would every move to Indy/Marion Co. since I don't have to.

    It doesn't matter that all those elites live outside Marion Co. Marion Co. is where the money is, it is where the politics are played. Until Marion Co./Indy resembles Detroit, people who have a desire to get rich on the backs of taxpayers will likely turn to Marion Co. vs. any of the other surrounding counties.

  • John Doe

    “I don't want to ever move from my neighborhood. Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted to live where I live today. I worked hard coming from where I came to live where I get to live today.

    Why should I give up my dream?

    It's not just Marion county elites getting rich off Marion county taxpayers, a lot of them live up in Hamilton County.”

    This will never end. I once thought like you, that people need to have a “home.” I believe this comes from the US governments push that people own land so:
    #1: The lending/consumer debt industrial complex will work. Homes are massive debt loads for most people, especially since all those $70-$100K/year factory jobs are gone for the non-college educated types.
    #2: This helps with taxation of people more so than if most folks just rented smaller living spaces.

    My whole family lives here in central Indiana. However, after traveling out west, I know that major cities could face the worse of the coming crash. A major focus of mine is to pay off my home ASAP, save all that interest I would pay to a bank and put it in my bank account, and have enough money saved to be able to up and move to more stable/better areas if need be. Right now things aren't to that point, so I am comfortable staying here. However, there is no way I would every move to Indy/Marion Co. since I don't have to.

    It doesn't matter that all those elites live outside Marion Co. Marion Co. is where the money is, it is where the politics are played. Until Marion Co./Indy resembles Detroit, people who have a desire to get rich on the backs of taxpayers will likely turn to Marion Co. vs. any of the other surrounding counties.