Senior staff writer
Retired Southside legislator and veterinarian Larry W. Borst, 89, died Dec. 20.
Borst represented southern Marion County and northern Johnson County in the General Assembly. He was elected to the House in 1966, served one term, and was elected to serve in the Senate from 1968 to 2004, where he was chairman of the Finance Committee, through which all budget and tax legislation had to pass.
“He was a voice of the Southside of Indianapolis, Greenwood and the entire state of Indiana in the Senate,” Indiana Republican Party Chairman Jeff Cardwell said in a statement.
Longtime House Speaker Brian Bosma praised Borst for his “passion for fiscal integrity.”
Borst steered a revolutionary property tax relief program under Gov. Otis Bowen through the legislature in 1973 and led further revisions in 2002. He had a knack of explaining complicated state tax and budget issues in layman’s terms to reporters and the public.
He played a major role in developing Unigov, the merger that combined city and county governments in Indianapolis. He also found ways to bring in new revenue to Indiana through horse racing, and pari-mutuel betting and the Hoosier Lottery.
He guided the A+ education plan of Orr, distributed tobacco settlement funds for state health programs and renamed Indiana Central College to the University of Indianapolis.
Borst, who earned a doctorate of veterinary medicine from Ohio State University, was a veterinarian and owned the Shelby Street Animal Clinic. He was an avid fan of high school and professional sports and motor racing. He and his wife, Eldoris, have three children, veterinarian Phil Borst, who served on the City-County Council, Elizabeth Murphy and Dave Borst.
Visitation is from 4-8 p.m. today with a memorial service Thursday at 11 a.m., each at Singleton Community and Memorial Center, 7602 Madison Ave.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Mary W. and Larry W. Borst Sr. Classroom Teacher Restricted Fund, c/o Perry Twp. Education Foundation, 6548 Orinoco Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46227.