INDIANAPOLIS, IN – Tonight the City-County Council will vote on a variety of budget measures for 2011 including the operating budget for the city of Indianapolis and Marion County. While the introduced budget makes strides towards fiscal responsibility, the Libertarian Party of Marion County believes that the budget stops short of truly effective budget reductions.
“This gets us back to 2008 spending levels. For all of Mayor Ballard’s talk of being a fiscal conservative, we are only now matching the spending of [former Democratic Mayor] Peterson’s last budget,” says LPMC Chairman Timothy Maguire. “There are many additional opportunities for cost savings in the budget.”
The introduced budget totals $1.1 billion and represents a 2% decrease versus 2010. “It’s nice to see reductions, but they don’t go far enough. There are opportunities to save taxpayer money in areas like the Sheriff’s department, Public Works, and Metropolitan Development,” adds Councilor Ed Coleman (L). “Without touching the core elements of Public Safety, there is probably another $50-$100 million that could be cut from the budget. The citizens of Indianapolis have had to become more budget conscience and so should our local government. There are millions of dollars of savings in staffing and salary opportunities alone.”
Maguire continues, “The fact that this budget could go further to save taxpayer dollars is not the only concern we have. The budget is balanced using accounting gimmicks like depleting the Rainy Day Fund and earmarking unidentified savings with wishful thinking. These two tactics account for nearly $30 million in attempting to balance the budget.”
The City-County Council and the Mayor will be on the ballot in the November 2011 elections. “Voters are waking up to the Libertarian Party and I’m looking forward to my re-election bid,” says Coleman. “I believe that we’ll provide the only truly fiscally conservative option for voters next year.”
The Libertarian Party is the third largest political party in the United States, and is the only non-major party with ballot access in the state of Indiana. Libertarians believe in a small non-intrusive government that is financially responsible, administratively competent and socially tolerant.