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Indianapolis: Transit News

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Bill could strip IndyGo of millions of dollars, halt future work on Purple, Blue lines




The Indiana Senate voted Thursday to put teeth in a 2014 state law that required IndyGo to raise private dollars to help finance its mass transit operations, including the Red Line—something it has not done to date.


IndyGo officials say the legislation—which still requires final votes in the House and Senate—could significantly jeopardize its operations and its ability to build the planned Blue and Purple rapid transit lines. And they say the move comes just as IndyGo is launching a foundation that will allow it to raise money.


Sen. Aaron Freeman, the Indianapolis Republican and former city councilor who authored the language, said his goal is not to cripple IndyGo’s operations but to hold it accountable to the 2014 law.


That law authorized a 0.25-percentage-point increase in the city’s income tax rate to fund IndyGo operations and new services—with approval from the City-County Council and Marion County voters. The law also said that IndyGo would be required to provide a 10% match of that new income tax revenue, raised only from private sources, not fares or taxes.


The tax went into effect in October 2017 and is generating about $60 million per year. Freeman said that means IndyGo would need to raise about $6 million per year to meet the law’s threshold, but the agency has so far not raised any private money.


The law, however, did not include any penalties. Freeman said that’s what he is seeking to change.


“They’ve raised zero dollars since November 2016 when the referendum was passed,” Freeman told IBJ. “We all knew that’s what the law was. It’s disingenuous now to say they don’t think they have to follow the law.”


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"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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