Tuesday, July 17, 2007

More Tax Protest

A spineless committee of the City-County Council, in the face of mounting public opposition to the increasingly heavy tax burden in Marion County, assumed the sit-on-your-hands position and froze there, not taking a vote on Mayor Peterson's ill-advised tax hike for public safety. From the Indy Star:
"Now you stand up and ask for an income tax increase," said Jack Borgerding, who said the taxes on his Downtown home rose from $2,200 to $15,000. "Enough is enough."

In delaying a vote that would send a recommendation to the full council, Vice President Joanne Sanders said she wanted to see whether any of a half-dozen tax-relief proposals takes hold this week.

"This isn't happening in a vacuum," Sanders said. "There are other options being thrown out daily, and the situation is changing every day."

At stake is a plan to increase the county option income to pay for Mayor Bart Peterson's $90 million plan to improve public safety.

Here's an idea: CUT SPENDING ELSEWHERE! There is plenty of money to be found, simply in scaling back departments that are less important than public safety... which is to say, all of them.

And there are a lot of them. Take a look at all of the departments the City-County government funds, per the City's website:

Mayor
Arts
Diversity
Mayor's Advisory Council on Disabilities
Membership
Committees
Celebration of Diversity Award
Commission on Latino Affairs
En Espanol
Education
Charter Schools
Board
For Parents
For Schools
Accountability Reports
Putting Education First
Mayor's Youth Council
About
Excellence in Education Award
Character Achievement Award
Families
Housing
Jobs
Neighborhoods
Transportation

Council
Councillors
Biographies of Councillors
Meetings
Council
Committees
Minutes
Committees
Proposals

City
Administration
Human Resources
Employment
Benefits
EEO Statement
Equal Opportunity
MBE/WBE Program
Program Information
Certification
Forms & Resources
Vendor List
Administrative Services
Bond Bank
About Us
Board of Directors
Outstanding Debt
SRF Loan
Warrants
Notes
Official Statements
Rating Agencies
Controller
Purchasing
Bids & Quotes
Vendor Information
City Finances
City Budget
Monthly Financial Reports
Licensing/Barrett Law
Barrett Law
Taxi Service
Special Events Permits
Walk-Run Route Information
City Legal
City Prosecutors
Litigation
Counseling
Labor/Employment
Collections/Admin. Services
Paying Parking Tickets
IndyParks
Parks
Sports Complexes
Amenities
Winter Recreation
Programs
Arts
Administration
Public Information
Rangers
Forestry
Planning
Parks Board
Golf
Greenways
Metropolitan Development
Neighborhoods & Housing
Questions & Help
Code Enforcement & Inspections
Community Development Goals & Strategies
Neighborhood-Based Economic Development
Historic Preservation
Grants & Assistance
Resources
Initiatives
Businesses
Questions & Help
New, Relocating & Expanding Businesses
Resources & Tools
Initiatives
Development Process
Builders & Developers
Questions & Help
Permits
Inspections
Licenses
Pre-Development Requirements
Resources
Planning & Zoning
Question & Help
Boards & Commissions
Zoning & Land Use Petitions
Zoning & Petition Processes
Comprehensive (Land Use) Planning
Neighborhood
Transportation
Demographics & Statistics
GIS & Mapping
Documents & Plans
Resources
Resources
Documents
Maps
Applications & Forms
Statistics
Online Tools
Public Safety
Animal Care & Control
Animal Control
Kennel
Community
Volunteering
Emergency Management
Assistance
Preparedness
Homeland Security
Training
Hazards
Fire Department
About IFD
Stations
Divisions
IFD History
Recruitment
Indiana Task Force One
Administration
Training
News
Public Works
The Road Home
Project Information
Sidewalk Repairs
Snow Removal
Street Closings
Street Repairs
Traffic Signs & Signals
Residential Services
Abandoned Vehicles
Beautification
Dead Animals
Drainage
Illegal Dumping
Recycling
Services for Persons with Disabilities
Sewer Construction
Sewer Services
Trash Pickup
Protecting the Environment
Air Quality
Indianapolis Clean Stream Team
Land Quality
Wastewater Management
Water Quality
Business with DPW
Planned Public Bids
Specifications & Manuals
Waterworks
Governance
Board of Waterworks
Service Advisory Board
Resolutions
Capital Projects
Legal Documents
Management Agreement
Asset Purchase Agreement
Inter Governmental Agreement

County
Assessors
Auditor
Homeowner Services
Online Deduction Forms
Additional Deductions
Tax Rates
County Budget
Financial Reports
Cooperative Extension Service
Clerk
Court Records & Filings
Filings
Juvenile
Probate
Marriage Licenses
Child Support
Account Information
Election Board
Candidate Information
Election Information
Poll Worker Information
Voter Information
Forms
Commissioners
Surplus Sale
Community Corrections
Services
Residential Component
Home Detention Component
Advisory Board
Minutes
History
What's New
Coroner
Roles and Responsibilities
Organ Donation
Forensic Services
About I-MCFSA
Jobs and Careers
Disciplines
Human Resources
Information Services
About Us
IT Governance
Services
Geospatial Information Services
Business
Justice
Planning Council
CJPC Board Meeting Agendas
CJPC Board Meeting Minutes
Administration and Support
Indianapolis Violence Reduction Program
Transcriptionist Unit
Metropolitan Emergency Communications Agency
About Us
Board
UCON
Radio
911/CAD
PRMS/FRMS
Mobile Data
Paging
Comm Van
Project Updates
Radio Upgrade Project
Help Desk
Probation
Locations
Programs
Internship & Volunteer Opportunities
Prosecutor
Prosecution
Violent Crimes
White Collar Crime
Narcotics
Terrorism
Protection
Keeping Children Safe
Domestic Violence
Keeping Seniors Safe
Reducing Juvenile Crime
Child Support
Prevention
Tobacco Cessation
Zoning
Racial Profiling
Community Prosecution
FAQ's
Protective Orders
Witness Information
Victim Information
Citizens Intake
Other Areas of Interest
Cases of Note
Traffic Safety Partnership
Public Defender
Administration
Office Locations
Board of Directors
Divisions
Court Information
About Us
Recorder
Documents
Services
Sheriff
About the MCSD
Community Relations
Organization
In Memoriam
History
Jobs and Careers
Merit Deputy
Reserve Programs
Special Deputies
Public Services
Real Estate Sales
Jail Information
Visitation
Investigations
Surveyor
Information
Surveys
Treasurer
Property Taxes
Tax Sale
Voter Registration
Voter Registration
Elections
History

Courts
Circuit Court
Rules & Regulations
Resources
Law Library
Superior Court
Court Information
Court Listings
Rules & Guidelines
Resources
Law Library
Jury Pool

Metropolitan Police Department
About IMPD
Annual Reports
Departmental Policies
History
In Memoriam
Staffing
Crimes & Incidents
Crime Trend
Law Enforcement
Service Districts
Criminal Investigations
Traffic Enforcement
Special Units
Services
Citizens' Services
Outreach Programs
Employment
Sworn Employment
Civilian Employment
Internships
Get Involved
Crime Prevention
CrimeWatch
Volunteer Services
Youth Involvement

Cable Communications Agency
Cable Operators
Government Access TV
Reports
Operator Reports
Bright House Networks
Comcast Cablevision
Cable Agency Reports
In-Kind Reports
Programming / Production Reports
FCC Filings
Franchise Board
Board Meeting Minutes
Franchise Agreements

The best tax relief to the people is the slashing of a budget. Or three. Or 30. Think Marion County has enough government yet?

Anyone who says they can't find anything to cut isn't trying. As you review the list, ask yourself, "Is this a proper function of government?"

There are so many that aren't, but let's go with the truly obvious: golf and cable TV. Lose these immediately. Sell the golf course land today. A pretty penny will be reaped. Get out of the business of micromanaging cable tv. Let any operator do business in the County. The people will have more choices and lower prives through competition, and an entire bureaucracy will be gone.

That's a lot of savings, right off the top. Might even be able to put enough police on the ground to prevent the south side garage fires, or at least enough firefighters to put them out.

The City-County Council needs to find the spine necessary to cut spending. The Mayor needs to find the spine necessary to tax back his request for higher taxes and replace it with a call to eliminate unnecessary government so that the proper government- public safety- can be fully funded.

10 comments:

B.G. ((Semper Paratus)) said...

Mike...I only have one word regarding that list...

WOW! ! !

(somehwere between "OUCH" & "BOING")

Kind of makes the (mere) 30+ "entities" that levy property tax increases in Fort Wayne pale by comparison.

B.G.

Mark W. Rutherford said...

But what about the children if we get rid of all this government! Heaven forbid they have the ability to make their own decisions and set their own course when they are adults.

And if we get rid of all of this government, what will the politicians use for spoils and patronage?

Cut spending? It must be too simple to do so or politicians would have done so already - or the politicians can't buy favors if they do so. I have my opinion on which of those reasons it is.

Andrew Lee said...

I find myself often thinking I got out of Central Indiana in the nick of time...

Hope you guys are doing well!

Mike Kole said...

Well, Andrew- bad policy is good radio, and good business for Libertarians who have been saying all along that a tax crisis was coming.

Lemons, lemonade, I'm afraid.

Wish you were here, but wouldn't wish here upon you!

bobett said...

Outstanding information!

This is the tax & spend detail that you won't hear or read in the old media news.

Why? I think the Federal, State,
City, County and Townships
don't want us thinkers to demand accountability.

Guess what... with wealth of information available now...
the old Government's ways are
numbered.


Times are changing slowly,
I believe in people. Things will
change...it's imperative.

Mely said...

Wow. I knew it was bad, but had no idea. I had a long talk about 6 weeks ago with Jackie Nytes. She swore up and down there was no waste in city government. I think she actually believes it herself.

It will be interesting to see how she votes on the COIT now that the matter is getting so much public scrutiny and tax revolters are taking to the streets.

Mike Kole said...

Jackie Nytes strikes me as being the kind of person who genuinely believes all government is benevolent. She was recently on Abdul in the Morning, and she had a rare agreement with him that more school choices are needed, but she lost enthusiasm immediately when he pushed the idea of having the public schools run by a private contractor. To her, it was unassailable that a government administrator is preferable to a private one. She apparently has very little faith in the profit motive, and very great faith that if you are in government, you are not only efficacious, but efficient.

But I have to believe that if you asked her if she thought it was the proper role of government to operate a golf course, she would have no choice but to agree that it should fall by the wayside when public safety is underfunded.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Kole, I expected this list, which is being waved around on the Indy Star Forums as a comprehensive list of government spending that could be cut, to be more than just a cut-and-paste of the Indygov.org sitemap. This isn't a list of departments, or even divisions, that are funded independently. It's just a list of information topics from the web.

I continue to wait for anyone to come up with real ideas for cutting spending that are specific and detailed. Instead, you simply list the website and say "look at all we're paying for!" It's inaccurate, and doesn't help much. I'll give you credit for the golf course suggestion--even though I disagree with you on it. Would we then sell off our city parks as well?

The point is, it's really easy to say the city should cut its budget, but few people follow up with the hard work of showing exactly what should be cut so the citizens can see the results. The city is pretty lean now, and drastic cuts are really going to result in reduction of services. Perhaps as a Libertarian, that's OK with you, but it's something we need to discuss in specifics, not slogans.

Anonymous said...

Please stop lying. All you've done is copy and paste some web pages describing programs, many of which don't even have a budget and are driven by volunteers and private sponsorships. You have nothing to offer but hate and fear mongering.

Mike Kole said...

Actually, the list gets bigger when you click on the various departments and see the sub-departments.

But, yes- as a Libertarian, I would prefer to see most of them go away. There's nothing hateful or fear-mongering in saying that Indy government should prioritize public safety first and sacrifice lower priorities like golf, or even public housing for those who are able-bodied & able-minded.

Today, Indy sacrifices public safety for the others. It proposes to raise a tax while not scaling back ANYTHING.

Glad I left Marion County. Yes, I am.