the abduls of the world can hem and haw and say that ballard hasn't really changed his position here. but he has. here is the promise, directly from the property taxes page of his campaign site:
1. Lobby the state legislature to pass a constitutional amendment eliminating property taxes in Indiana. I believe that with the current makeup of the legislature, 35-40% of legislators approve of such a measure.
2. Failing a state constitutional amendment, I will find an acceptable mix of taxes within Marion County to greatly reduce the influence of property taxes in Indianapolis. This will help bring the middle class back to Indianapolis, increasing the overall tax base and reducing the tax burden on the poor.
pretty simple, huh? basic, straightforward language, right? in order to keep this promise, ballard doesn't need to actually get property taxes repealed. all he has to do to keep this promise is lobby the legislature for a constitutional amendment. then, when that fails, he can go on to find another solution.
has ballard lobbied for an amendment? no. will he? apparently not, if he now supports the governor's plan. so if he promised to do X, has not done X, and has no intention of doing X, then there's no other way to look at it: he's broken a campaign promise. and he isn't even in office yet!
it would've been such an easy promise to keep! after all, candidate ballard had to know that the mayor has no power to actually do anything about property taxes. all he had to do was some token lobbying, then when it inevitably failed he could get behind the mitch daniels plan. easy as pie, campaign promise kept. but no, he couldn't even do that. he can't even be bothered to respond to questions about his flip-floppery.
not that i'm surprised. property tax repeal for indiana truly is a radical, fringe idea, and ballard's support for it was one of many reasons that i and people like me never took him seriously as a candidate. it's the kind of thing that sounds nice as a one-sentence poll question—hey, do you want to pay less taxes?—but like i said over at doug's place, just about everyone who's actually looked at the numbers know it's not feasible. property taxes bring in billions of dollars that fund our schools and other important stuff. you can't just get rid of them without doing something major to offset all that lost revenue, like massive increases to sales and income taxes, which would do plenty damage on their own.
the only question is: will the tax protesters now turn on the mayor-elect, their once-hero?
oh, and one more question: when will someone create ballardlies.com? ¶