LOIT comin’ back?
Here we go again, an opportunity for Muncie City Council to open back up the LOIT debate. This time we can be taxed for public transportation throughout the county.
In 2009, if you will recall, Muncie City Council held a public hearing to pass a tax on every working person regardless if you lived in the city or county. It never got passed, and I don’t believe it was ever tabled. Somewhere in the abyss it’s still festering. This time though, Indiana wants to use it for transportation.
At least, voters will have a say instead of allowing nine people to make the decision. The majority of which salivate over any tax increase, where spending millions delights and barely blink an eye at increasing city tax levies. The majority increased the Muncie City tax levy and the budget, County was looking at passing Cumulative Capital Development (CCD tax). They also came out in support of $45 million tax increase and finally in ’09 the love for the Wheel Tax came to fruition.
LOIT was their baby, too.
Muncie City Council ignored the budget for nearly two years, and what is the first thing when realizing there is a fiscal problem? Why increase your taxes, of course. Last year the city ended with over $8 million balance and a tax increase. Proof any time is a good time for more taxes with the majority of Democrats in office.
Provides for the establishment or expansion of public transportation services in an eligible county through local public questions placed on the ballot under ordinances adopted by the fiscal body of the eligible county. Provides that Delaware County, Hamilton County, Hancock County, Johnson County, Madison County, and Marion County are eligible counties. Authorizes eligible counties to fund approved public transportation projects through various parts of the local option income tax rates that are available under current law for other purposes and by imposing on C corporations a county income tax or a county employment tax. Specifies that fares must cover 25% of the operating costs of a transportation system established or expanded under the bill. Authorizes interlocal agreements, public-private partnerships, and bonding with respect to a public transportation project. Provides that if a transportation project is approved in an eligible county, transportation services must be provided through the transportation project throughout the eligible county and must be made available under this article to all citizens of the county. Prohibits a political subdivision from using public funds to promote a position on a local public question regarding transit. Prohibits an eligible county from carrying out a light rail project. Provides that in the case of a public transportation corporation in an eligible county that has approved a local public question, labor agreements may provide for the nonbinding mediation of salaries, wages, and salary and wage related fringe benefits, including accident, sickness, health, dental, vision, life, disability, retirement benefits, and paid time off. Provides that the provisions in the bill do not create a moral obligation of the state.