Give it back?
It’s always nice to read stories from around the state, including one from Auburn, where the township trustee is cutting his property tax rate to zero.
According to The (Auburn, Ind.) Star, Union Township Trustee Craig Bassett said he intends to give the taxpayers a break due to sizable surpluses and changes to state law.
“Now, we can lower or zero our tax levy for a fund without being locked into that levy forever,” Bassett said, estimating he’d accumulated enough money to run the township for five years with no revenue.
We wonder if that attitude will rub off here in Kokomo, where Center Township Trustee Jean Lushin was carrying a $6.3 million balance at the end of 2010.
That same year, Lushin spent $1.96 million, meaning he had more than three years worth of township spending in the bank at that point.
Mourdock v. Lugar
The race between Dick Lugar and Richard Mourdock has officially kicked into overdrive, with Lugar mounting attacks on Mourdock on several fronts, even as Mourdock insists he’s ahead in the polls.
Lugar’s staff were quick to respond to an internal Mourdock poll that came out Thursday, showing Mourdock slightly ahead.
The poll was by Wenzel Strategies, the same company that showed Mourdock closing the gap on Lugar’s lead in March.
“Wenzel Strategies has been widely discredited as a noncredible polling firm, most recently
after releasing a poll claiming to show 20 percent of Republicans leading toward Obama in the 2012 election,” Lugar chief of staff Andy Fisher said in a press release.
Lugar has been dogging Mourdock for past support of the Fairness Doctrine and a plan to vastly increase public spending on universities, but the six-term senator’s ace in the hole may be Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels. Two ads featuring Daniels began running in heavy rotation this week, and are expected to continue up until the May 8 election.
“I’m not for Dick Lugar because of what he’s done, but because of what he can do,” Daniels says in the spots.
So much drama
The Howard County Council may have approved money for the Nickel Plate Trail Tuesday, but it didn’t happen without yet more drama between council president Dick Miller and Howard County commissioner Paul Wyman.
At issue was whether the county should go ahead and dedicate another $145,000 toward the county’s $290,000 share of the trails project, despite the fact the city and county haven’t worked out a cost-sharing agreement.
Wyman was there to push the council to act, so the project could move ahead.
Apparently the council members took umbrage over Wyman’s insistence, because they spent 45 minutes debating the appropriation before finally approving it.
“All we’re asking you for today is to appropriate the dollars. We will not spend them until [the agreement is] worked out,” Wyman said at one point.
“Worked out and a legal decision are different. My opinion and your opinion of what’s ‘worked out’ or whether this is satisfied could be different,” Miller replied.
Later, Miller told Wyman “there’s an awful lot of liability if this goes against us.”
To which Wyman said, “Please don’t assume that we don’t understand that or don’t take it as seriously as you do. That’s why we're sitting here today telling you there will be no dollars spent until we have reached a resolution that we feel comfortable with.”
It probably all sounds much more civil in print than it actually was.
Tribune reporter Carson Gerber contributed to this week’s Public Eye.