Letter: Commuter tax not the answer to Indy’s pothole problem

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Editor,

It’s an idea I thought would have died by now, but yet again Indianapolis leaders are suggesting a commuter tax as a remedy for the city’s pothole problem. They say that people in Carmel are driving to Indianapolis to go to work and their local income tax should be split between the two areas.

I agree with Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard and his opposition to this idea. First off, a thorough audit of spending should be done before it’s decided how to fix Indy’s pothole problem.

Indianapolis needs to quit blaming its road woes on its neighbors. Our residents frequent Indianapolis businesses, which increases sales taxes and food/beverage taxes.

The problem is that Indy has neglected its roads for so long that patches won’t cut it anymore. Roads need to not just be resurfaced but completely rebuilt. This is more expensive, but otherwise potholes are going to keep forming.

The commuter tax would essentially be taxation without representation since Carmel residents couldn’t hold Indianapolis leaders accountable if they misspent the money.

And it’s really hard to determine impact. Most commuters take I-465, I-70 or I-69. They aren’t driving heavily on the crumbling residential roads that are worst hit.

How do you account for someone who drives miles and miles through Carmel to work at an Indianapolis business just barely south of 96th Street? Carmel saw the wear and tear from its commute, not Indy.

Any commuter tax would require statehouse approval, so my guess is that it’s unlikely. But if it ever did happen, the good news is that Carmel will be OK. We have more residents coming in during the day for work then leaving (a 14 percent population increase),  so it’s possible Carmel would not be harmed.

Adam Aasen, Carmel

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