Upcoming event: Indiana Fair Tax Summit March 7th, 2015

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When:  March 7, 2015

Time: 10:00 AM

Where:  First Church of the Nazarene,

3101 N. Benton Road Muncie, IN

Cost: Free

Additional information, please click on FairTax Summit Flyer!

FairTax Summit flyer

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Indiana Education: Senate Bill 331

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Could this be the start of the end to standardized testing?  Finally, every step taken is better than no step at all.

Indiana Senate Bill 331

Student testing. Provides that after June 30, 2016, a public school may not require a student to take a qualified standardized test. Removes the requirement that a school is required to administer a college and career readiness exam to identify students who may require remedial work at a postsecondary educational institution or workforce training program. Requires the state board of education to provide a report to the general assembly that includes recommendations as to how to reduce the number of standardized assessments administered to students.

Senate Bill 331

Tuesday Tidbits: More on TIF districts and employment opportunities

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TIF Districts, two job openings in Delaware County all rolled into one opinion column.  Nice transition.

Larry Riley Sure look like regular budget use of TIF

Saturday ramblings: Saturday morning comin’ down – elections and whatnot

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voting imageThe candidate filing has ended for the 2015 primary.  Few surprises to be found.  Davenport dropped his challenge against incumbent Mayor Dennis Tyler.  Nora Powell back on the ballot tossing aside her pen name Nora Powell for her ballot name, Nora Evans Powell.  She appeals to the 7% voter base who chooses the first name on the ballot.    Hey, a girl needs to get a vote where she can.

Three Republicans running in two Republican districts.  This is as exciting an election as one can get, folks.   I didn’t expect any R’s to run for other offices, no one did.   The Republican chair is likely to turn-off prospective candidates as he has done in the past. It’s kind of a waste of money, time, and effort.  This may be lower than last year in regards to voter turnout.  The interest is not there, the candidates are lacking, and creative plans are missing.

I miss the old election campaign stumping, when candidates actually had a platform.  Nevertheless, the city is facing a looming $62 million in debts and we will continue to imagine the possibilities.  I would prefer to have the incumbents continue their place at the table to see creative budgeting in action.  Last time the elected officials faced a mere $3 million deficit, the street lights were scheduled to be shut off, animal shelter closed and 12 employees cut from the payroll. They saved a ton of money by cutting the Mayor’s Office copier and supplies.

Ex-president Sam Marshall wanted to cut Tuhey Pool utilities in his last month of office.  Although, his cuts were asked to be read into the Muncie City Council minutes, it never happened.  Maybe with a new city clerk, one can get that information.  Emails to the office never get a response.  Maybe that will change.  Maybe, maybe, maybe…

I guess it is safe to say, the $2.00 hydrant fee never materialized.  Instead, we saw over $3.00 charge on our water bills.  Local Option Income Tax was not passed at the highest percentage.  It’s still waiting to make a comeback.    Muncie ending for the second time with a sizable operating balance increased the tax levy and the budget.  A line item added to the budget for a newly created position while an employee of Prairie Creek was let go due to budget restraints.  Lack of revenue caused the mowing crew to stop mowing.

Five weeks into 2015, we already earmarked $500,000 spending.  Nobody outside of Muncie really cares how Muncie runs.  Well, until they find $250,000 of Federal bucks to fix up three houses worth pennies on the Federal dollar.  The Mayor said visitors to Central High School would see these homes and perhaps want to invest here.

There is a bright side to all this.  No longer are we bombarded with accusations of affairs, nepotism, cronyism, embezzlement, drug addiction and we finally settled the closing of Ninth & Tenth Street railroad crossings.  Barton lost her hard fought battle when Mayor Tyler took the reins.

Two of the five lawsuits have been settled against the mayor and the city.  Nothing on the Mayor’s appeal to the State of Indiana’s $12,500 fine against Advanced Walls & Ceilings.    The newspaper reported on it along with the $50,000 City Hall landscaping a year after the fact.

I sure hope the economic investment kicks in to generate some revenue soon.  We surely need jobs, living wage jobs.

Tomorrow is another day…stay tuned.

Criminal probe underway into Muncie contracts

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breaking news copyAccording to online comments, the information was given to the paper last year and nothing was reported.  The investigation was done by local citizens doing all of the legwork.

Criminal probe Muncie Star Press

State Board of Accounts – MSD

Saturday ramblings: Looking @ HB 1018

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House Bill 1018
Introduced House Bill (H)

Authored by Rep. Robert Cherry.

DIGEST

Tax increment financing. Provides that if a redevelopment commission adopts a declaratory resolution or amendment after June 30, 2015, that establishes, renews, or expands an allocation provision or area, the base assessed value used to determine the amount of allocated tax proceeds for the redevelopment district must be increased each year so that the incremental assessed value is 50% of the incremental assessed value in the allocation area without the increase. Provides that for the allocation area in Marion County that is identified as the Consolidated Allocation Area, the expiration date for the allocation area is June 30, 2026, or the last date of any obligations that are outstanding on July 1, 2016, whichever is later.

Follow HB2018

Fiscal impact statement

You may be asking why the dislike of Tax Increment Financing.  Used properly, it has the potential for economic impact.  Unfortunately, too many Redevelopment Commissions have abused the funds. Read the rest of this entry »

Indiana SB360 and what you should know

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SB360 IURC APPROVAL OF SUBSTITUTE NATURAL GAS CONTRACTS (MESSMER M)

Requires the Indiana finance authority (authority) to submit the following to the utility regulatory commission (commission) for approval: (1) A contract for the purchase of substitute natural gas (purchase contract). (2) An amendment to a purchase contract. (Current law requires the authority to submit the following to the commission for approval: (1) A purchase contract submitted before January 1, 2012, for approval and amendments. (2) A purchase contract entered into after December 31, 2012. (3) Amendments made at any time to any purchase contract. (4) Any other agreements between the authority and a producer of substitute natural gas.) Current Status: 1/8/2015 – Referred to Senate Utilities

Hicks: Bill for Rockport job killer

Indiana Senate Bill 360 

2015 Indiana Legislative Session