Fountain Square tax plan, graffiti ordinance fail at council meeting

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A plan for the city's first Economic Improvement District failed at Monday night's City-County Council meeting.

The plan, which would have created the EID in Fountain Square, fell by a 21-8 vote. The EID would have allowed non-residential property owners to impose a tax on themselves to pay for area improvements.

Several business owners in Fountain Square have been pushing for an EID to fund things like advertising, more bike racks and security cameras, but the plan has attracted growing opposition and well beyond the district's boundaries.

Graffiti ordinance back to committee

A proposed ordinance to impose a fine on homeowners for graffiti was sent back to committee at Monday's meeting.

Homeowners would be fined $50 for failing to clean up graffiti on their property. Keep Indianapolis Beautiful will provide paint and brushes - and even do some of the work - for homeowners who are unable to clean the graffiti on their own.

Democrat Zach Adamson and Republican Jeff Miller are co-sponsoring the proposal.

Homestead credit stays

The council also voted down a proposal that could have meant a slight increase on Marion County property taxes.

The council voted 11-18 against phasing out the homestead property tax credit over the next two years. If the proposal had been approved, about 80 percent of Marion County homeowners would have seen their annual property taxes go up by $30 or less.

"Eliminating the Homestead Tax Credit is the equivalent of a tax increase that will hurt those who can least afford it - retirees and families," Council President Maggie Lewis said in a release. "It is the Council's responsibility to ensure that every option is reviewed, and that we look under every rock, before considering the last option - a tax increase."

"An independent, bi-partisan study commission recommended this step which would have cost only a percentage of homeowners less than a dollar per month and generated more than eight million dollars to support public safety in our city," Mayor Greg Ballard said in a release.