The Indianapolis Star ran a feature article in today's edition, with a thumbnail sketch.
One notable comment was issued by Fishers Town Council President Scott Faultless. From Bruce C. Smith's report:
For Fishers, the added territory could mean $2 million more a year to pay for police and fire services, parks and roads. The homeowners say it could raise taxes 20 percent for services they already get.
"This is a fight over money," said Town Council President Scott Faultless, who is spearheading the annexation effort.
"It is the motivation for both sides. Everything else is a distraction."
That's the first time Mr. Faultless has been quoted where he got right to the point. He's 100% correct here- it's about money.
The Town wants to take money from the Geist property owners, who want to preserve it.
It only took him two months to cut to the chase. In that time, he was saying the annexation was about unifying the community, the merits of a Fishers address, and other smoke. Now, at last, the truth.
Readers of this blog will recall my Saturday, November 19, 2005 letter in the Fishers Weekly, that ran with the headline, "Annexation is all about taxes". The letter began thusly:
The all-Republican Fishers Town Council has just reinforced what we learned from the all-Republican Carmel City Council: it's all about grabbing tax dollars.
Thanks, Mr. Faultless, for confirming the obvious as seen in mid-November. Better late than never. The letter continued:
The burden is on the Town Council to show that there is something more awaiting them than a higher tax bill.
On this count, Faultless and his fellow Councilors have failed utterly. They keep reverting to the idea that the Geist property owners are getting something for nothing. From the Star report:
"And then there is the fairness issue,'' Faultless added. "The folks living in the (unannexed) holes are benefiting from the town's services, whether they want
to admit it or not."
If the Geist residents are benefitting from Town services, it must be that the Town Council gave away the store at some point, whether Council President Faultless wants to admit it or not. The Council approves the developments that proceed in the annexed areas that surround Geist.
Or, maybe Mr. Faultless is really just a socialist who believes that if you even drive once over a road in the Town, and you live somewhere in the region, you should be taxed for the privilege of having passed on the road.
This is why the Geist residents picketed the GOP fundraiser. They thought Republicans stood for less taxation and smaller government. Stood. Past tense. Only the Libertarians stand for less taxation and smaller government any more.
While in Europe, I had an amusing thought along the lines of the Faultless reasoning. There I was, in Spain, Portugal, Gibraltar, and briefly, France. I ran the water in each country. Should I now be a taxpayer to all four nations? I enjoyed their services, after all.
It's a weak attempt at high-minded principle. Here's the real deal-
Forced annexation is wrong, period. People have the right to self-determination, and that should go without saying in the United States of America, the home of the free. The only annexations that occur should be voluntary.
This is the Libertarian position. End of story.
Update: In response to the comments that have ensured, I have a number of links going back to posts that had to do with the various food & beverage taxes that passed throughout Hamilton County, and the Fishers proposal that failed without a vote. It includes my letter of praise for Fishers, which was printed in all of the Hamilton County newspapers. This voluminous activity, and the myriad press citations the Libertarian Party earned, all point to why we took some credit for the defeat of the tax in Fishers.
A similar scenario is playing out with forced annexation- the GOP proposes to tax, the Libertarians stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the affected parties.
June 7, 2005, Mitch Daniels pitches tax increases
June 8, 2005, Press Coverage of my face-to-face with Governor Daniels
June 23, 2005, pre-Pub Crawl work
June 24, 2005, Pub Crawl in Fishers & Noblesville in support of restaruant & bar owners
June 24, 2005, Pub Crawl Press Coverage
June 26, 2005, Hamilton County & Noblesville
June 27, 2005, filled in on WXNT, had restaurant owners on as guests
June 27, 2005, Central Indiana
June 29, 2005, Carmel
June 29, 2005, Noblesville
July 1, 2005, Noblesville
July 10, 2005, Westfield
July 11, 2005, Westfield
July 14, 2005, Westfield
August 11, 2005, Fishers
August 11, 2005, Letter of Praise for Fishers
August 22, 2005, Fishers
August 29, 2005, Fishers Tax Killed- No Vote Taken