VaRooom! It’s a Wheel Tax Comin’ Down the Road

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The wheel tax has once again returned!  Yep, that’s right.  Now, we all know taxes are needed to provide the services we have come to love.  My concern, and many echo, is just how is the precious tax dollars spent?  Wasteful, in my opinion.

The Delaware County Council have come up with 3 new promises to put the citizens mind at ease about the wheel tax.

  • Guaranteeing in writing that 100 percent of wheel-tax revenue would be used for paving.
  • Creating paving plans to identify how the money would be used.
  • Including a “sunset clause” that requires the county council to look at the wheel tax every few years to decide whether it’s still needed  (Star Press 5-20, 2009)

    I doubt a written document will guarantee anything. Why? Because we have seen public access laws broken and SBA investigations with absolutely no consequences attached to the guilty parties. A written guarantee isn’t worth the paper it is written on. The fact the county council even has to put this in writing proves the elected officials know the citizens are paying attention.

    Let’s take a look at just a couple of examples on how our paving funds have been used. First the city. In 2007 Muncie received $2.6 million dollars in tax money for road repair. After the salaries were paid, Muncie was left with $603,383. Can’t get much fixed with that amount. Now the county. You are going to love this one. In 2002 the commissioners took $100,000 from the Cowan Road project and used $75,000 as collateral for a $3 million loan to complete the Royerton Sewer System. On top of that, the firm contracted to do the Cowan work learned the project was on hold from a Star Press reporter. The county attorney was Don Dunnuck and Todd Donait sat on county council. There is more to the Cowan Rd. Project, believe me.

    As far as paving plans go, and to be honest, I don’t have any documentation to back this up, one of the roads to be considered for paving is Wheeling. A perfectly good road in decent condition.

    So what if there is a sunset clause giving council the ability to “re-examine” funds. We have an abundance of TIF funds and a nice chunk of change sitting in the townships. None of the money has been used to pay down debt or returned to the taxpayers. Do you really think the tax money will be returned? Do you really think the wheel tax would be repealed?

    Don’t know about you, pretty tired of the song and dance. Lots of talk, no action. We have been railroaded enough, don’t you think? Can almost bet, the county is already looking into hiring…

    Tuesday, May 26, 2009 @ 9:00 am:
    Delaware County Council Meeting
    Commissioners Court, Room 309
    County Building, Muncie, IN

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