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Battle Brewing Over Alcohol Tax

Last updated on Thursday, May 21, 2009

(INDIANAPOLIS) - Officials in the doughnut counties are deflating the trial balloon floated by Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard for raising their alcohol taxes.

County officials say they've already done their part to help build Lucas Oil Stadium, and have little to no enthusiasm for another tax hike to bail out the board which runs it.

Hamilton County Council President Judy Levine says Ballard hasn't contacted her about a regional alcohol tax.

She says she wants to see the Colts and Pacers increase their financial contribution before she puts county taxpayers on the hook for more.

All of Marion County's neighbors except Morgan County imposed a 1% food and beverage tax in 2005 to raise the money to build the stadium.

Ballard's proposal is the third attempt to use alcohol taxes to bail out the capital improvement board.

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved a statewide increase in the tax, but Chairman Luke Kenley scrapped the proposal in the face of fierce opposition.

A Marion County-only increase proposed by Ballard never made it to a vote before the legislature adjourned April 29.

Under either the regional tax or the statewide tax, every city except Indianapolis would keep the money it raised.

Only Indy's share would go to the CIB.

Governor Daniels is expected to offer his own CIB proposal as part of a budget plan to be unveiled June 1.

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