Carmel mayor: Taxing commuters “bad for region”

CARMEL, Ind. (WISH) – New taxes are part of the discussion as Indianapolis looks for ways to hire more police officers.

On Wednesday, a committee of the city-county council approved a tax increase. City budget planners have also floated the idea of a commuter tax.  That would raise money from the thousands who drive downtown and back every day — using city services — while they live in the suburbs.

By one estimate, 200,000 people drive in to Indianapolis every morning and then drive back home every night.  A lot of them live in Carmel.

Jim Brainard, the mayor of Carmel, says taxing commuters would be “bad for the region.”

“I think it would encourage, quite honestly, companies to move out of Indianapolis to the suburban communities where many of the people that own the communities live. And that’s not good for the region. We need those companies to stay in Indianapolis and do well,” Brainard told 24-Hour News 8 on Thursday.

Brainard said if Indianapolis needs “some extra help, the legislature just ought to give it to them.”

He uses the State Capitol and other state government buildings as examples.

“All those buildings don’t pay any property tax to Indianapolis and that’s probably not fair to Indianapolis.  Just by paying the property tax on those buildings may raise as much, if the state were to voluntarily do that,” Brainard said.

Nothing specific has been proposed yet, if at all.  So this could wind up like getting stuck in rush hour traffic. It generates a lot of heat, but you don’t get far.

24-Hour News 8 Political Reporter Jim Shella says as long as Indianapolis has the ability to raise taxes on its own, help from state lawmakers will be hard to come by. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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