Yet, when it comes to public policy decisions in recent years, the state has been determined to make it extremely difficult for local governments to deliver any of those services at acceptable levels.
Police and fire protection has suffered, local schools have had to cut staff and programs and, as motorists can daily attest, local roads and streets (as well as rural state highways) are crumbling beneath the wheels of their vehicles.
The state’s approach looks to be to make local governments solely responsible for filling in any shortages in their budgets for public safety and transportation.
(The state’s approach to public education looks to be to continue to starve them for money and force the closure and consolidation of as many rural schools as possible.)
Inevitably, a new local option income tax will have to be adopted to generate the funding local governments must have to provide essential public services at the levels constituents demand.
As for roads and streets, local governments are going to be on their own; a wheel tax will be needed to raise the money to repair and maintain local roads and streets.
The highway spending bill that finally passed and was signed into law by the governor originally included $25 million earmarked for local governments to invest in roads and streets. That provision was dropped.
State lawmakers no longer are interested in helping out on the local level: tax revenues the state takes in will be spent on state projects, not shared on the local level.
— Vincennes Sun-Commercial