Friday, June 18, 2010


We were reading the Courier Journal June 16th, 2010 about Indiana House Speaker B. Patrick Bauer and how he is seeking information from the state's top economic development agency to determine if it is lax in taking back tax breaks from companies that fail to create promised jobs.
New Albany's tax breaks (tax abatements) are off the charts. (And we wonder why our revenue is short!) When we investigated tax abatements for this City we found a whole lot of issues.
One, simply getting the report from the then Auditor was a tough job. When we asked for the report of tax abatements for the City we received four pages.
Knowing there were a lot more, we had to dig deeper. It took a person outside of government to tell us to ask for tax abatements broken by township. We then received over 20 computer print out sheets. The amount was staggering. Especially compared to one in the whole of Floyd County, SHOTS.
We see business and individuals come in to Council meetings and it seems as long as they appear, their abatements are extended. No questions asked, no paper work checked, no checks and balances.
There are people living in the County getting tax abatements. There are people who have sold their businesses and still get tax abatements (property sold on contract which doesn't tickle records). We know of non-profits (who don't file taxes) getting tax abatements. New Directions at first had one and the City actually called them trying to get them to come back and renew theirs. They declined.
At least the State is looking at business payroll to determine if the payroll is adequate to kick the tax incentives. Nothing like this exists.
You have to ask yourself what is the racket and how does the racket work? There has to be something in it for the individual handing them out yet citizens don't know his angle.
If England annexes Charlestown Road's businesses are we simply going to turn around and give them all tax abatements? How much you want to bet we will? Then, there goes our revenue to pay for the annexation.
Vicious circle.
This was a topic at the Mayor's meet and greet and we were discussing same today. How do you feel about this give away? To us it would be okay if citizens simply knew Council and/or the Deputy Mayor followed up or checked on any of these businesses. Until they do, we'll probably be discussing this issue until the cows come home.
What do you think?
(I have to apologize for this article running together. I appreciate the opportunity to blog on here but I can't get the paragraphs to space apart.)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Time To Meet The Mayor of New Albany!!!!!!!


First off let me say how much my family appreciates this blog and the opportunity for all of us to submit articles for publication here about issues at our kitchen table.

I thought the last article was great! How often do you get the opportunity to submit your thoughts about real issues going on in our home town? Be able to speak the truth and not worry about the rats in our community bothering us! Thank you, thank you.

We had to hurry up and submit this and so I hope you all will bear with me telling our thoughts about the meeting on Wednesday at 6:30 pm, June 16th.

First off isn't that the day we have a public hearing or such with the Department of Local Government and Finance about our BUDGET for this year just now being approved? I can't wait and see what the Mayor has to say about the budget results, hah! I also wonder if anyone from the public will have the guts to ask him about last year's over spending of the budget and the fallout that has to be associated with the results for this year! Like I said will anyone from the public have the guts?

When England said before his election he was going to do things better this time we had no idea what he meant and gave him the benefit of the doubt(s). But, now I wonder if he didn't mean he was simply going to finish us off with the debt(s) he keeps running up.

Every time you think the Mayor can't possibly come up with any more hare brained ideas, he rains them down. His creativity in three way liquor licenses and now three way catering licenses, where do you learn these games? And only a few get in on the deal (a literal who's who with the Mayor's crowd). Something isn't right.

And, you got everyone knowing the Mayor's house is up for sale and then you see DNA with his wife heading it holding an open house for $30.00 a whack at the Mayor's house. We find this astonishing because it smacks so blatantly of free public services to provide a buyer for the Mayor's house, even if he doesn't pocket the $30.00 a whack. His wife is as head of DNA. Aaahhhaaahh, can you hear me screaming from here?

But, back to the subject of the meeting Wednesday night. I wonder how many hard questions the public will ask of the Mayor; then again I shudder to think of the budget being returned and then wonder if someone from the public will ask about that. I sit in wonder and wonder.

That's what we were talking about tonight at our kitchen table.

Sunday, June 6, 2010


We were sitting at the kitchen table paying the bills the other day and my husband started his usual "I don't know how we are going to make it" spiel. Honey, I said, don't worry about it. Take England's advice and cut that cable off. I was trying to be funny but he didn't find it too funny. "To hell with him" says my husband.

When I told him I wish we could do like this darn City does, spend spend spend, he just started more griping. He knows I have been going on and on about the year end report for 2009 showing the shortfalls across the board for the City and usually he just shrugs. This time though, I got his attention. He said "let me see that damn report". I watched his eyes get bigger and bigger until he really started cussing. "What the hell is this crap" he asks. "How can this be" he asks. I tell him I don't know honey and I sure don't understand it, either.

He asked me what those dots were down the side of the report. I told him that's the shortages and overspending done by England this past year. He got as rattled as I have been. After much discussion he says "put this crap out there on your blog". Okay, honey. Here are the numbers along with his comments (sometimes I don't think he realizes how funny he can be).

The General Fund was over spent by $5,343,770.75. (My husband asked me if that was really 5 million dollars in the red. Yes honey.)

The Parks Department was over spent by $330,314.81. (My husband said you mean they can't even run the Parks Department and they want to build a water park? Yes honey.)

The TIF Park East Industrial Bond over spent by $1,130,019.12. (My husband asked aren't they trying to improve all of that to bring more business in? Yes honey. Husband says how if they are in the hole? I don't know honey.)

The credit Bond Interest is in the hole $2,911.50. (My husband asks how in the hey can interest be in the hole. I don't know honey.)

The Sanitation Fund was over spent by $5,721,213.19. (My husband asks how can that be? Isn't the garbage outsourced? Yes honey.)

When I told him the garbage contract wasn't up until 2012 but England is going to renew it this year, he asked why. I don't know honey.

When I told him England told the City Council he was going to have to lay off people and shut the ambulance station down and yet the new contract had already been signed he asked why England lied to the Council. I don't know honey.

My husband now really wants some answers. I told him I do too but I can't get any answers. My husband agreed with me finally. He wants to spend spend spend without any repercussions. I told him I don't think our finances can handle that kind of strain. We don't have 14 checking accounts and all those different funds to hide under. He is not a happy camper, but neither am I. How about you?