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This letter is being written to the residents of southern Indiana. My name is James Carter and I need your help to make the citizens of our counties aware of a problem that can be avoided.
The state has a $2 billion surplus that will most likely only benefit a few counties in northern Indiana if certain powers get their way.
Many of our counties’ infrastructures are wearing out fast, and will continue to unless we band together as a bloc and demand a proper share of the surplus that we helped create.
Small populated counties, especially those that have a lot of federally owned land, have little for a tax base, yet we cut to the bone to make the state look good. Now is the time for the state to reciprocate and help the counties.
I propose a $2 million return to each county spread over a six-year period. This is less than 10 percent of the surplus and we need to move quickly before the money is allocated for pet projects, such as the bypass around Chicago, which will help only 10 percent of Indiana’s residents.
The Association of Indiana Counties will meet in late September to ask for funds at the next legislative session. The word is out; they are going for funds already allocated.
Why? It makes no sense to try to go after funds that have been traditionally allocated, such as those earmarked for the state police.
A small portion of surplus has already been allocated for a tax return and I agree with that, but the state should include the counties also.
Please call or write your representative and tell them the counties need part of the surplus for their infrastructure, to ensure the roads and bridges are safe, to travel to work, for our school buses and to get to our local markets.
The only way we can get support for what I propose is to ask all the counties in the state to get involved. The aging infrastructure is the common problem throughout the state.
JAMES M. CARTER