News and Tribune

November 2, 2013

NEWS AND TRIBUNE LETTER — For Nov. 2


— Mayor Mike Moore criticized the Jeffersonville City Council for doing its job as the fiscal body of the city during his recent press conference about Duffy’s Landing.

The mayor seems to think tax increment financing dollars are his dollars and he can spend them as he pleases without fiscal oversight. Lets look at the mayor’s proposed TIF projects and record to date:

On Nov. 27, 2012, the mayor, via a contract with finance vendor Umbaugh, did a study outlining the proposed TIF projects. This list of nine projects called for the spending of $35,225,000 in TIF dollars from 2013 to 2018.

That project list included spending $2,025,000 for Big Four Station. The cost of this project is now estimated at $4,200,000.

That list also included the Marina project costing $700,000, but now this project is estimated to cost more than $2 million. With these two price hikes, the mayor’s TIF project spending based on his own list is estimated to be $38 million.

However, there is more. TIF projects that were not on the TIF project list but since proposed by the mayor include the new police headquarters at $11 million, River Ridge Road at $2.6 million and Duffy’s Landing land purchases and improvements of about $1 million. This is an additional $14.6 million of TIF spending.

I am not aware of any proposed TIF project spending decreases, so with project additions and estimated increases, Mayor Moore is now proposing to spend $52.6 million in TIF tax dollars through the redevelopment department over the next four years.

The mayor says the council should support all his TIF projects new and old and his spending of nearly $53,000,000 of TIF funds. The mayor attacks the council for questioning some of his projects and says the council is playing politics.

However, when one considers the large multimillion dollar tax funded spending proposed by the mayor, I believe it is the council that is doing its elected job as the city’s fiscal body and its the mayor via press conferences and comments to the media who is playing the political game.

— Ed Zastawny, Jeffersonville District 2 city councilman