I have a great idea. I’m going to sell my house, but demand that the State continue to give me my homeowner’s tax credit. Think “our man Mitch” would approve?
I don’t either.
But how is that any different from his complaint about the distribution of federal highway funds?
Highway funds are allocated to the states on the basis of a formula that includes the miles of road the state must maintain. As I understand it, the feds are taking the eminently reasonable position that since Indiana contracted away its responsibility to maintain the Toll Road, the Toll Road mileage should be subtracted from the mileage used in the formula. That will cost the state some $40 million this year, and our governor is incensed at the unfairness of it all.
I think we can guess what his position would be if he were still budget director; he’d not only support the new calculation, he’d probably be demanding a refund for the years since the Toll Road was leased. (Apparently, the feds aren’t trying to penalize Indiana for their delay in adjusting the formula. He should be grateful for small favors!)
Indiana got a big windfall when we “leased” (essentially, sold) a state asset, just as I would get a big cash payout for my equity if I sold my house. When the Toll Road lease was negotiated, the state made a big deal of the fact that the vendor would be responsible for maintaining that asset. If I sold my house, I would also be relieved of the need to fix the roof, keep the plumbing in repair, cut the grass…all those expenses attendant to homeownership.
The only difference is, I would be ashamed to whine about losing a tax credit to which I would no longer be entitled.
Demanding federal highway funds to maintain a road someone else is legally obligated to maintain takes real chutzpah.