Indianapolis Looks at Auto Rental Tax Increase

Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard’s plan to shift more burden onto tourists to offset the burden from a bailout of the city’s sports board by shifting more of the burden onto tourists includes an auto rental tax, according to the Indianapolis Star.

The plan would boost the auto rental tax from 6 percent to 8 percent, for a projected $2 million in revenue.

Although Ballard’s plan ran into resistance on April 13 with his proposal to raise alcohol taxes in one county, other elements such as the car rental tax appeared to win support. A statewide doubling of the alcohol tax was also on the table, but that idea met too much opposition. A state Senate vote on the legislation appeared imminent.

However, the author of a competing plan, House Ways and Means Chairman Bill Crawford, D-Indianapolis, said he believes the plan puts an added burden on the residents of one county only. The Capital Improvement Board, which oversees the facilities for the Indianapolis Colts and the Indiana Pacers, is facing a projected 2010 budget shortfall of $47.5 million.

In addition to the car rental tax increase, the plan would boost taxes on alcohol, hotels, and tickets to stadium and arena events.

Also under discussion is to place an end date of five to 10 years on any taxes raised for the CIB. Ballard said new, higher revenues generated from an expanded convention center, the Marriott and a new NBA collective bargaining agreement could allow the city to sunset the hospitality and alcohol taxes.

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