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CITIES: BALLARD’S BUDGET MYTHBUSTERS
Myth #1: Mayor Ballard’s budget raises everyone’s property taxes
(Howey Politics Indiana)
. FACT: Approximately 40% of Marion County homesteads already have their property taxes capped at the one-percent maximum allowed by the Indiana Constitution. If a homestead is capped already at one percent, none of the tax restructuring proposed by Mayor Ballard would impact the property tax bill. FACT: Expanding the IMPD Special Service Taxing District citywide, would result in a TAX CUT for homesteads not above the tax caps in the old city limits. A home with $100,000 in assessed valuation get a property tax cut from $365 per year to $114 per year. Even if those homeowners would be negatively impacted by the elimination of the Local Homestead Credit, these homeowners would see a tax cut of approximately $229 per year. FACT: Many homes outside the old City limits are already at the tax caps, particularly in Decatur, Franklin and Lawrence Townships. Mayor Ballard’s proposal would not impact their property tax bills. Homeowners can determine what, if any, impact the elimination of the local Homestead Tax Credit would have on their property bill by visiting:
Myth #2: City-County Council Majority Leader Vernon Brown told WRTV-TV "They didn't do it in 2007 when he was mayor and Ryan Vaughn was Council President, they didn’t do it in 2008 when he was mayor and Ryan Vaughn was Council President, they didn't do it in 2009.” FACT: Mayor Greg Ballard took office on January 1, 2008. Ryan Vaughn became President of the City-County Council in 2010. In 2007, Mayor Bart Peterson was in office and Democrats served in the Majority of the City-County Council. FACT: Mayor Bart Peterson suggested expanding the Police Taxing District in 2002, even before the merger, to help cover costs of then-Indianapolis Police Department. FACT: When Mayor Bart Peterson and the Democratically-controlled City-County Council voted to merge the Indianapolis Police Department and the Marion County Sheriff’s Department in 2005, they did not expand the IMPD taxing district.
CITIES: COLUMBUS CUMMINS WILL BUILD NEW ENGINE FOR NISSAN
Cummins is partnering with Nissan to manufacture a new diesel engine at its Columbus facility
(Wright, Indiana Public Media)
. For the first time in more than a decade the Columbus plant will return to engine production. More than 200 million dollars was spent to create the Cummins 5-liter V8 Turbo Diesel engine. It’ll be available in Nissan’s new line of Titan trucks. Officials say the partnership could add 800 jobs at the facility. Cummins’ General Manager Jeff Caldwell says the company has already started hiring. “For most of the 60’s and into the 1980’s we produced more than 60 percent of all of the U.S. heavy duty truck engines on this site so it is really tremendous to see engine manufacturing returning to this plant again,” he says. The plant plans to ship commercial engines in the fourth quarter of 2014 and expects most of the new hiring will occur that year. Cummins plans to expand the engine line in the future-offering it to other customers and in other vehicles.
CITIES: GENCON SETS ATTENDANCE RECORD, GENERATES $47M FOR INDY
Gen Con Indy 2013 had record attendance and growth never experienced before
. Turnstile attendance was measured at 159,364 and unique attendance was 49,058 which was a 20% growth from 2012. Gen Con has grown more than 75% in five years. The attendees experienced 12,000 gaming and entertainment events, and 360 company exhibits. Organizers say Gen Con accounts for more than $47 million in yearly economic impact to Indianapolis. The only event to surpass that number was the 2012 Super Bowl.
CITIES: FORT WAYNE MAYOR HENRY TO WALK DOWNTOWN
Tuesday, Mayor Tom Henry was joined by City staff and Downtown Improvement District officials for a business walk in downtown Fort Wayne. The walk served as an opportunity to talk to and get feedback from downtown business owners
(Howey Politics Indiana)
. In recent weeks, Mayor Henry and his staff have participated in several business and neighborhood walks. “We continue to see positive momentum in downtown,” said Mayor Henry. “It’s great to hear business owners share their success stories and describe their excitement about the opportunities in our downtown. We’re seeing how proactive efforts have positioned us for growth and success in the heart of our City.”
CITIES: FORT WAYNE GROUP WARY OF INCREASED DOWNTOWN DRINKING
Jerri Lerch insists she's no Prohibitionist and fully supports efforts to revitalize downtown Fort Wayne
(Leininger, Fort Wayne News-Sentinel)
. But when she hears civic leaders suggest that more liquor will also create more economic vitality, the executive director of the city's Drug and Alcohol Consortium cringes because she knows from painful experience that any financial gains will be matched and perhaps exceeded by costs that cannot be measured in dollars alone. And so, when City Council conducts a public hearing Tuesday on a resolution that would allow certain downtown businesses to apply for low-cost three-way liquor licenses in excess of the state's population-based quota system, Lerch will be there. Not to object, but to suggest that at least some of the program's anticipated revenues should be used to prevent or address the problems she fears it will exacerbate.
CITIES: SPEEDWAY TO BUILD $14M ROUNDABOUT NEXT TO IMS
Indiana's most famous 2½-mile oval is getting a traffic circle
. The Speedway Redevelopment Commission says it will turn the intersection in front of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway into a roundabout next summer. WRTV-TV Channel 6 reports the $14 million project will connect 16th Street with Crawfordsville Road and Main Street. However, Georgetown Road will be cut off from the intersection and come a dead end. Commission Executive Director Scott Harris says the roundabout will make the intersection more functional, easier to use and safer. Speedway President Doug Boles says the track hopes the roundabout improves the flow of traffic going to the venue. Most of the construction will start after next year's Indianapolis 500.
CITIES: EVANSVILLE APPROVES SEWER RATE HIKE TO PAY FOR $540M PROJECT
Evansville’s sewer rates are poised to jump as the city begins federally mandated construction projects to curb combined sewer overflows
(Martin, Evansville Courier & Press)
. The Utility Board on Tuesday voted 4-0 to send the City Council a proposal for three years’ worth of increases. The rate for residential customers is to grow 32 percent in 2014, 8 percent in 2015 and 18 percent in 2016. The City Council will take up the proposal on first reading Monday, with final readings anticipated Sept. 23. Revenue from the increase is to fund the largest public works project in Evansville’s history. The city’s consent decree with federal regulatory agencies calls for compliance with the Clean Water Act of 1972, mandating control of combined sewer overflows. Those occur when stormwater and sanitary wastewater runoffs exceed capacity of existing infrastructure. The city’s final plans remain subject to Environmental Protection Agency approval, but utility officials say work needs to get started and $120 million is needed to fund projects though 2016. In total, the cost over 28 years could reach $540 million, according to the utility.
CITIES: KOKOMO HIRES NEW DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR
Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight announced Monday Steve Whikehart has been hired as the city’s director of development, a city leadership position responsible for community and economic development planning
. “The local economy is moving forward, and as we position Kokomo to be the ideal place to start a business, build a career and raise a family, we needed someone with a bold vision and fresh approach,” Goodnight said in a statement Monday.
CITIES: EPA TO INVESTIGATE VAPORS FROM MUNCIE SITE
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will investigate whether chemical vapors are migrating from a Muncie Superfund site into as many as 50 nearby homes
. EPA's Superfund on-scene coordinator Shelly Lam tells The Star Press the year-long study is part of a $700,000 cleanup at the former Kiser Plating factory. It's located about a block from a YMCA, a fast-food restaurant and a health clinic. The EPA has scheduled a public meeting to answer questions about the cleanup and the vapor study Wednesday evening at a library.
CITIES: UINDY PRESIDENT TO SERVE AS ABC MIRACLE MILE PARADE MARSHAL
Tuesday, organizers of the 2013 ABC Miracle Mile Parade announced UIndy President Robert Manuel, together with his family, will serve as the parade’s grand marshal
(Howey Politics Indiana)
. The parade – scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. on Saturday, August 31st – is the centerpiece of Gateway Fest, a one-day community celebration of the seven neighborhoods that comprise Indianapolis’ near south side.
Donnelly on military sexual assault bill that passed 97-0
“I have met with and heard from courageous survivors of military sexual assault from Indiana, and their heartbreaking stories of experiencing sexual assault while serving our country made it crystal clear to me that we must do more to address this epidemic. The bipartisan Victims Protection Act is an important step forward to empower survivors of military sexual assault and hold commanders and perpetrators accountable. While I think that overall we must make a significant, serious change to the status quo in order to lead to a truly ‘zero tolerance’ policy, I supported this bipartisan bill today because I think we must continue to work together to end the scourge of military sexual assault.”
- U.S. Sen.
, after the U.S. Senate passed 97-0 a bill that establishes new rules for military sexual assault victims.
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