Republican State Senator Luke Kenley says the Indianapolis City-County Council is jeopardizing the city’s chances of getting any state assistance on mass transit next year or any other time in the future.
Kenley chairs the Senate Appropriations committee and is the Senate’s point man on the budget. During an interview with Indy Politics, Kenley did not look favorably on the council taking money from the Capitol Improvement Board reserves and use it to shore up the city’s $65 million budget shortfall.
He says when the state bailed out the CIB a few years back with loans and gave the city the authority to raises several taxes that money was to help get the CIB back on stable footing, not to use away to bailout city coffers when things got tight.
He says the city has a number of tools at its disposal to solve its financial problems, including the elimination of the homestead exemption tax credit which state got rid of when it imposed property tax caps. A council committee voted down eliminating the homestead exemption.
Kenley says if city lawmakers were to take money from the CIB reserves, he says the General Assembly would look at that as a breach of contract, and the state would be very hesitant in the future to help the city with any other major financial issues such as mass transit.
The Council is scheduled to vote on the budget on October 15.