Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Star Reports Property tax changes focus of talks between City-County Council leaders, mayor's office

From the Indianapolis Star:

Indianapolis city officials and City-County Council leaders are negotiating potential budget changes that could make two administration tax proposals more appealing, both sides confirmed.

Mayor Greg Ballard’s proposed $1 billion city-county budget for next year depends on those tax changes to provide nearly $13 million for the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department. The proposals would eliminate the homestead property tax credit and expand a police taxing district from the old city limits to the county line.
The combined upshot would include a tax cut for central parts of the city, higher taxes for outlying areas and a hit to township school districts’ budgets.
Council President Maggie Lewis, a Democrat, said the Republican administration was holding firm on the tax proposals but has been open to discussing options that include tapping into utility sale proceeds and unused money from tax-increment financing districts.
That could soften the blow of the tax changes by paying for council Democrats’ priorities, she said.
But Lewis and Ryan Vaughn, the mayor’s chief of staff, declined to discuss specifics.
At Lewis’ request, a council committee tonight delayed consideration of both tax proposals until Sept. 10.