If City-County Council Democrats have a secret plan to pay for public safety that does not involve the elimination of the property tax homestead credit I for one will be waiting with baited breath to see exactly what it is and whether it will actually add up.
My colleague Jon Murray pens an article in this morning’s Indianapolis Star where Democrats say they have a plan that will give IMPD and IFD their raises while still keeping the homestead credit in place. Here’s the problem Democrats face.
The raises for IMPD and IFD would cost $5.5 million, a new recruit class would cost about $6 million and keeping the homestead would cost $13 million. So where are the Democrats going to find close to $25 million? With all due respect, these guys don’t have the best track record when it comes to finances.
The city is paying $9 million in interest annually because of a $100 million loan taken out a few years back to pay for operating expenses. Council Vice-President Brian Mahern has proposed tapping the CIB budget until he realized it had already been passed. I know where the Council could find $100,000, they could take it out of their budget which they have included to do redistricting that has already been done and passed. They could try and tap the city’s reserves, but all that does is kick the can down the road because that $25 million is not a one-time expenditure it’s on-going and only gets bigger as time goes by.
So if my Democratic friends have a secret plan to solve this financial problem, I hope it’s a good one because past experiences lead me to think otherwise.