INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - The budget agreement reached between city leaders and the mayor will raise both car rental and admissions taxes in Marion County.
The agreement was officially introduced in the city-county council Monday evening.
It includes increases to car rental taxes from 4% to 6% (bringing the current tax on car rentals from 15% to 17%, when you factor in sales and state excise taxes), and it increases the admissions taxes on venues run by the CIB from 6% to 10%.
Those venues include Lucas Oil, Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Victory Field, and the Convention Center.
The increased tax will be effective March 1 of this year. All revenue (an estimated $6.7 million dollars) will go to public safety the first year, and 25% of revenue (up to $3 million dollars) will go to public safety in the years after that.
Council President Maggie Lewis told 24-Hour News 8, "I'm very pleased we were able to come to an agreement. It's about compromising, and what's best for the city. "
"If you have to have increased taxes, those are the two places you want to look first. People buying tickets to events, hopefully can afford another dollar or two," said Minority Leader Michael McQuillen. "We don't want to have anything so high it's problematic, but I see them more as user fees than taxes. I think in the end it'll work out for the good. "
"No one wants to go on record increasing taxes," said Lewis. "But it's hard times… so we have to do what's best for the city, we'll take a look at the taxes. "
Charlie Mullen, Vice President of ACE Rent a Car Inc., says he believes the increased tax will have a negative impact on business.
"It hits a breaking point, a tipping point, it's just too high," said Mullen.
Mullen says his north side store is across the street from Hamilton County.
"Today Hamilton County has a four percent advantage over us, and now it's six percent," he added. "It's tough to compete. "
Colts COO Pete Ward told 24-Hour-News 8 the organization is against an admissions tax increase, saying they do not feel it is in the best interest of downtown business.
Greg Schenkel, with Pacers Sports and Entertainment, said "These are significant public policy questions before the City and County, and we are supportive of efforts that are important to the long-term development and growth of our community. Public safety is critically important to Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Downtown and our entire community."
The CIB also released a statement saying the group supports the agreement.
This proposal will be discussed in committee, and will be likely voted on at the end of the month.
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