This is in response to Dawn Whalen’s letter to the editor in last week’s Southsider Voice.
I was not making a political statement nor do I have a political agenda. I have spoken before the Beech Grove City Council and Redevelopment Commission several times.
I pointed out that in 2013 Beech Grove dramatically added and increased contractors fees. The council is in the process of raising and possibly adding more fees – just another word for taxes.
According to Indiana University Kelley School of Business Indianapolis, Beech Grove is the highest taxed district in Marion County, averaging 5.2 percent; the Marion County average is 2.9 percent. The state average is 1.9 percent for the 2,040 taxing districts. By my math, 98 percent of the districts have a lower tax rate than Beech Grove.
Who pays for the increase contractor fees?
Some people believe that contractor fees are no big deal. Compare the new fees to the old fees on just these few items: roof, cement, electrical, plumbing, heating, air-conditioning and overall cost of the job. Why penalize citizens and business owners for taking care of or improving their property?
I asked the council not to pass any fees or tax increase.
Mrs. Whalen did not accurately quote me. I never stated or implied that since she does not have her business in Beech Grove that she does not support the city. She and I were appointed and served together on the commission.
Beech Grove has several vacant buildings in the city. I can easily understand why people would not want to locate in Beech Grove, no matter where they live.
Through the years speaking before the council and commission has produced some passionate conversations and editorials from all involved. After having some passionate conversations we could meet at O’Gara’s Irish Pub and have a good time. No one holds any animosity from then till present.
It is apparent more people read letters to the editor than watch or listen to council meetings. I wish Mrs. Whalen would have given me the same respect she was wanting and talked to me to get all the facts correct before she wrote her letter.