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Regionalism Rears Its Ugly Head

Increasingly, we have heard elected officials in Hamilton County talk about regionalism. It is surprising to some in that the elected officials are all Republicans, and regionalism is code for taxing one citizen to serve another.

The first topic to raise the banner of regionalism was public transportation. Elected Republicans, such as Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard, County Commissioner Christine Altman, and Fishers Town Council President, among others, went on record in favor of regional taxes to extend public transportation into the doughnut counties.

Republicans! They say they are for personal responsibility, but that would mean each individual providing for his own transportation, either with his own car, or a full-fare on a bus or train that pulls the system out of subsidy. IndyGo is supported to the tune of 80% in tax dollars. Why would any sane person want to extend this mess?

The second was the forced annexations. The arguments have been made that despite living in a neighborhood outside municipal limits, people benefit from municipal services, but aren't paying their fair share.

Where I come from, we call that "a stretch". By that logic, if Geist residents should be incorporated into Fishers, then Fishers should likewise be incorporated into Indianapolis. After all, there isn't a Fishers resident alive who doesn't use Indy streets and thus, its services. Pay up!

Right- it's nonsense. So, here is the latest: Crime.

Your first reaction might be that apart from the rash of gas station robberies in Fishers, crime is not much of a problem in Hamilton County. I would agree with you on that. But Indianapolis, complete budgetary failure that it is, is struggling with crime. Indy wants suburbanites to help pay to put more police on the streets.

I moved out of Indy because I could see that it was a city in decline. I just could not justify the investment in a city that was going the wrong way on taxes, infrastructure, and yes, crime.

I moved to Fishers because it is relatively free of crime, has a lower tax burden, and has more sound infrastructure. As it is going right now, Fishers probably has about 30 years before it goes south reinventing Marion County.

That's exactly what would occur if a new plan for a regional sales tax goes through. From the Indy Star report:
Philip Borst, the Republican minority leader of the City-County Council, has floated the idea of a regional tax. Borst has been trying to get the city to consider long-term solutions rather than temporary fixes for a number of years.

He has said a regional sales tax would shift some of the tax burden to people who do not live in the county but use its public safety services. That group includes tourists and people who work in Downtown Indianapolis but live in the surrounding counties.

Phil Borst is a Marion County Republican, but he seems to think just like Hamilton County Republicans like Scott Faultless and Charlie White. Come on, Phil! Why not just annex Fishers?
Scott Faultless, president of the Fishers Town Council, said he would be more likely to support a regional tax for a problem like transportation improvements. He said he's not sure public safety is a regional problem.

"I don't think the town would be supportive of a tax for that purpose, but I would want to learn a lot more of what it is," Faultless said.
So, Faultless has no solid position on regional taxes, except on transportation. There, he will gouge the region gladly. On crime, he will have to wet his finger, stick it up in the air, and see which way the wind is blowing, and then he'll know. Great.

Carmel Mayor Brainard is much clearer:

But Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard said crime truly is a regional problem.

"Criminals don't know city boundaries, and problems facing Indianapolis spill over into surrounding areas," he said in a statement.
He's clear, but he's wrong. Criminals do know where city boundaries are. They always have, beginning in the days when you merely had to cross town lines to dodge the law, to today where a petty crime committed in Indy is likely to result in quick release due to jail overcrowding. The same petty crime committed in Carmel or Fishers is more likely to result in arrest, because of the increased number of police per capita; and jail time because of lower crime rates.

Problems facing Indy do not spill over so much when it is well known that there is an aggressive police force in the adjacent town, and waiting at the boundary line. The problems do spill over when fiscally liberal politicians like Briainard want to take the problems of Indianapolis and make them the problems of the people Hamilton County.

What do I have to do to escape the ruinous policies of Marion County, and too many Republicans? Must I go to Tipton County?

I would rather put these liberal Republicans out to pasture.

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posted by Mike Kole @ 10:32 AM, , links to this post