It is not always about the money. Some criticize the City of Carmel and, in particular Mayor (Jim) Brainard, for monies spent in Carmel for such things as sculptures in roundabouts, roundabouts themselves, an outdoor ice rink and the desire to bring an antique carousel to downtown Carmel, as frivolous expenditures of tax payer dollars. I submit that spending money to enhance the quality of life of the residents of Carmel is neither frivolous nor a waste of money.
For my wife, adult children, their families, and me, who have chosen to live in downtown Carmel, we find those amenities, and others, unique to Carmel, a part of the Carmel experience. They are reasons to live in Carmel. They make us proud of our city and want to show it off to our friends.
The reality for all of us is that if we made decisions based only on money, we would not make many of the expenditures we make. As an example, why buy a couch when it costs nothing to sit on the floor? Why buy new clothes when the old ones still fit? Why buy a new car when a used car is a better value? I understand that some people cannot afford couches, clothes or cars, but the City of Carmel can afford the amenities it provides its citizens.
Our property tax rate is among the lowest in the state. Our annual revenue exceeds our annual expenses by nearly 60 percent. Less than 4 percent of our property taxes go to debt service. In the next decade or so, more than $1 billion of property value will be added to our tax base. Give the complaining a rest and enjoy what we have.
Steven M. Kirsh, Carmel