Councillor Takes a Stand For Reducing the County Option Income Tax
Indianapolis – Councillor Vernon Brown plans to introduce a proposal to reduce the County Option Income Tax (COIT) at tonight's City-County Council meeting. Councillor Brown stated "last October, the Democrat controlled City-County Council, along with former Mayor Bart Peterson passed a 0.65% of 1% increase in the COIT for Marion County. I was a primary sponsor of that proposal because I believed it was our responsibility to fund public safety".
The total increase in the COIT was estimated to raise $90 million to be allocated into four critical areas:
1.30 million dollars for 200 new police officers
2.30 million dollars for the police and fire unfunded pension liability
3.25 million dollars for the Justice system (courts, judges, prosecutor)
4.5 million dollars for crime prevention programs.
"During the November election, I had the opportunity to personally explain the tax to the voters in District 18 and they showed their support of that decision by re-electing me," said Councillor Brown, "Because Mayor Ballard has succeeded in getting the State to take over the $30 million pension liability, it is government's ethical responsibility to reduce the COIT by that amount and return it to Marion County's working families. District 18 has many renters of both apartments and houses, who are not eligible for any property tax relief, unless it is passed through to them by their landlords in the form of a rent reduction. However, they took on this additional income tax burden, because they believed that properly funding the police and fire pension liability was the right thing to do, even if it was politically wrong. Returning their hard earned tax dollars back to them is the best way to thank them for their support. The time for government to keep its word is here; rising gas prices and an increase in the State sales tax affects the price of every necessity that a Marion County resident must purchase. We need to follow Mayor Ballard's words, "we do not need to make government comfortable for government, but to make Marion County comfortable for its citizens. We need to pass Proposal No. 187, 2008 to reduce the COIT for the real stakeholders in Marion County, our constituents. "
- 30 -