SHOCKER! Democrats and Republicans CAN Agree On Something! Council Leaders Tell Amos About Agreement on City/County Budget

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John Barth

John Barth

Council President Maggie Lewis

Council President Maggie Lewis

Unlike the mess in Washington where Republicans and Democrats can’t agree on the time of day, the two parties did something unusual in Indianapolis.  They agreed and compromised on the 2014 budget for Indianapolis/Marion County.  City-County Council President Maggie Lewis and Vice-President John Barth appeared on Afternoons with Amos and talked about the bipartisan budget agreement.  The Council passed the $1.1 billion dollar budget for city/county government by a 26-2 vote Monday night (Oct 14). The two dissenting votes were from Republican Council members.  Fifteen Democrats and eleven Republicans voted in favor. Democratic Councilman Brian Mahern was absent.  A major fight in the budget was a disagreement between Council Democrats and Mayor Greg Ballard on how to pay for a couple of new recruit classes for Indianapolis police officers to stem the tide of police retirements.  The Mayor wanted to eliminate a homestead tax credit which would’ve raised property taxes for some.  Democrats wanted to use some excess funds lying dormant in savings accounts.  Democrats won that argument with the Mayor.  In return, the Mayor got a budget that he can say is “balanced”.  One budget item that angered some listeners is the CIB (Capital Improvement Board) budget which the Council approved.  Listeners expressed anger to Barth and Lewis about subsidies provided to the Indianapolis Colts and Indiana Pacers. Another budget item that concerns some taxpayers is the fact that property owners living in the townships will see an increase because taxes to pay for police services have been extended to the townships. That should have been done after the IMPD/Sheriff merger in 2007 but wasn’t.  On the flip side some taxes for property owners living in the old pre-1970 city limits will be lower because of that change.  Click the Arrow to Hear Council President Lewis and Vice-President Barth discuss the budget with Amos and listeners.  Runs 26 Minutes ©2013 WTLC/Radio One.

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