Muncie, Indiana Bond Debt
The information concerning the City of Muncie and Muncie Sanitary District is fairly sparse. Once in a while, we receive a nugget or two like the recent hire of an attorney specializing in corruption cases by the MSD. We are never privileged to the reasons of the hiring, what employee or employees are being represented or if the payments will be subjected to reimbursement by the employees being represented. Currently, the fees are being paid for by the taxpayers.
Everyone is a taxpayer.
I’m sure this will fall under client-attorney privilege, however, if the fees are paid for through tax dollars then wouldn’t the citizens of Muncie be the clients?
Taxpayers received an increased tax bill April 2017. The reason? MSD raised the stormwater fee. All questions about the rate increase were directed to Jason Donati. He would only answer if the request was in writing. Surely, an organization this size has a document on the rate increase available.
Not forthcoming or transparent on the rate increase…
“We’re getting a lot of calls about the stormwater fee,” the treasurer said.
Patterson said her office was told to tell taxpayers who called to contact Muncie Sanitary District stormwater educator Jason Donati, who when contacted Monday by The Star Press asked that a written request for information be submitted to sanitary district officials. District officials did not respond to The Star Press’ request for an interview about the fee.
Patterson said the stormwater fee “went up substantially … and we can’t get an answer from anybody why. I haven’t been able to get that answer yet.”
Source: Property tax rates go up across county April 11, 2017 Muncie Star Press
Four months later, still no answer.
Let’s take a look at the current debt from both Muncie Sanitary District and the Muncie Redevelopment Commission as of 12-31-16.
City of Muncie debt $38,562,681.56. Amount due in 2017 $7,186,146.00
Muncie Sanitary District debt $176,401,026.41. Amount due in 2017 $8,052,765.00
Source: Indiana Government Transparency Portal
At the Muncie Sanitary District rate hearing in, 2012 Mayor Tyler was not present but did give a statement expressing concerns the increase would hurt the people. He was hoping to work with the MSD on a phase in. At the time the 2012 hearing, the board had all been appointed by the previous mayor, Sharon McShurley.
Today, the MSD board is all Mayor Tyler appointments. No expression of concern when the board voted to raise the rates in 2016. In regards to MSD purchasing a building well over the assessed evaluation, he said: “all I know is it is an expensive project.” (sic) Craig Nicholas’ charging the city for demolitions of vacant lots, the city scrambled to cover it claiming the addresses were wrong. All four properties?
The Muncie Sanitary District board on Thursday unanimously approved a rate hike, but not until after hearing from members of the public, who said they didn’t trust the board.
“This is poor timing,” local resident Kimberly Ferguson told the board after referring to articles in The Star Press about the sanitary district’s practices of buying property from and paying politically well-connected people.
Source: Sanitary district unanimously approves rate hike July 7, 2016 Muncie Star Pree
We could go on, but that is for another blog.
Interested in the City of Muncie and the Muncie Sanitary District 2016 year end debt report? Would you like to see the how it is distributed?
Having you been missing Larry Riley’s columns from the local newspaper? If so, you won’t want to miss this event.
When: May 29th, 2017
Time: 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Where: Kennedy Library
1700 W McGalliard Rd, Muncie, IN
We know Memorial Weekend is busy, so even if you can’t make it at 6:30 PM, the doors will be open during the event. Bring your questions.
Hope to see you!
By now, most everyone which is paying attention understands the Mayor of Muncie didn’t apply for State paving funds. If you have been on vacation the State of Indiana provided matching grant opportunities for additional paving funds.
All one had to do was apply with provided information and have matching funds. The public has not stayed silent as letters appeared in the local newspaper.
Muncie misses out on state funds
It is unfortunate that the mayor did not choose to apply for state funding to repair our streets.
And a bit of sarcasm, too.
Who needs the money?
I am personally glad that the mayor did not accept a million dollars from the state of Indiana. Who would want any money from those stinky Republicans that occupy our statehouse? Besides, it probably came with silly ole strings attached, like the money would have to be spent on streets and stuff like that, and not on private swim clubs. Those silly auditors are so demanding and so out of touch with the needs of good ole Muncie.
And some uncommon common sense.
Muncie could use grants
It’s a given that you won’t receive grant money if you do not apply. As for the city doing all right, is Mr. Tyler talking about the streets I drive on every day? Driving on some of our streets is like trying to maneuver a mine field – large potholes and/or mini hills one must try to miss
We seem to have a plethora of ideas, broken promises, dreams not realized with this administration. When he took office he had the dreams, you all. Maybe a minor baseball team or the old Chevy plant would be a beautiful park. You might even wonder about the $10,000 in forgiven property taxes for a community garden on an old polluted property of an abandoned factory on 8th St.
How about demolishing buildings and paying a goodly price on properties which have been vacant lots before Mayor Tyler took office. The mayor never promised us the FBI investigation nor a 43% income taxed passed in a record 14 days.
Spending thousands of dollars for an open wastewater pipe, a fence, some plantings known as Liberty Pass legally but Dennis’ Ditch publically. Oh, how this will be a draw for all the visitors Muncie is sure to have soon. Currently, it is a nice meeting place for drug deals as a neighbor revealed.
Let’s go back to the LOIT and income tax for just a moment. Mayor Tyler’s justification for the tax was property tax caps. Yet, this administration is taking properties off of tax rolls. He had to have the Local Option Income Tax for public safety, although previously he said there would be enough money without a grant. The previous mayor, Sharon McShurley made the same promise in 2011. Of course, she was not re-elected but did leave the city with more than enough cash for the Muncie Fire Department.
Prior to the Economic Development Income Tax (EDIT) increase, unbeknownst to the public, the mayor was using the EDIT tax dollars to fund the city’s building commissioner’s businesses, paying an obscene amount for demolishing blighted properties. Not to mention all city contracts as well as the business the commissioner got from new construction. Some may call it racketeering. Perhaps even the FBI would place it in the same category, No wonder he needed more money…
Some feel inclined to plead on behalf of the city administration with claims there is no proof. However, the handful of supporters don’t have any city documents. Neither have they pounded the pavement to investigate the internal policies hidden from the people of Muncie.
We can also say the Mayor has some wins under his belt with the downtown hotel. To be sure, it was needed. Yet, the mayor when he announced the hotel said there would no public funds. Before he borrowed nearly $18 million…
Two months before the presidential election the Delaware County Democrat chair resigned. There is speculation on a federal lawsuit alleging the city required 20% from the companies awarded city contracts be donated to the Democrat Party. The building has not paid a penny of property tax for years, but all you hear from the mayor is property tax caps.
Soon the City Council will be voting on the budget for 2017. It has increased about 20% including raises for the mayor and department heads. Kind of strange Mayor Tyler cried “Wo, is Muncie and those dreadful caps. Poor subjects of Muncie I’ll need to decrease your income. It’s those tax caps, you know.” The next year, despite the caps, he crafts a budget the city or folks can’t afford. Does this make sense?
Anyone can increase their budget, paying for it is the hard part.
Pay and partnerships link Muncie cop, gun dealer (Star Press 7-6-16)
Muncie Sanitary District Public Forum – Rate Increases-
When: Thursday, July 7th, 2016
Time: 10:30 AM
Where: Muncie City Hall
In case you missed it, there is a public meeting scheduled for July 7 that many might not be aware. This public forum begins at 10:30 a.m. at Muncie City Hall. The purpose of the meeting is to let property owners, ratepayers and other interested parties be heard in reference to current and proposed Muncie Sanitary District rates. The published figures recommended by the Muncie Sanitary District include some sizable increases in charges going forward including a 50 percent increase in the stormwater rates.
The resolution was introduced at the June 23 board of MSD commissioner’s meeting. The Star Press printed the meeting notice in the paper the next morning, which is how I learned of the rate increases.
All interested parties should attend.
Muncie City Councilperson Dan Ridenour