Indianapolis taxes seem likely to rise under Mayor Bart Peterson’s plan to spend $85 million more per year on crime-fighting and to pay off police and fire pensions, the Indianapolis Star reports. The Democratic mayor proposed borrowing $450 million to fix a long-standing pension liability that has crippled the city’s ability to balance its budget and battle crime.
The mayor’s plan could cost as much as $1.3 billion over the 25 years it takes to pay off the debt and associated interest. The initiative, which could involve an increase in the sales or income tax, comes on the heels of a task force report that urges the city to combat last year’s surge in violent crime with stepped-up supervision of and help for ex-convicts and at-risk juveniles. Peterson said the city needs a total of $85 million a year. Of that, $35 million would go to pay off the pension-related loans, $35 million to last year’s addition of courts and lawyers to help speed up the justice system and keep jails from crowding, and $15 million for future crime-fighting initiatives.