Indiana News

Homeless Coalition Seeks Tax Hike

11/16/2011

The Coalition for Homelessness Intervention and Prevention is hoping Marion County taxpayers will back a sales tax hike.

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CHIP Program Director Michael Hurst says the one-eigth to one-quarter percent increase could generate $9 million to $19 million a year. The increase is part of the coalition's new "Blueprint to End Homelessness." CHIP leaders plans to lobby state lawmakers in 2013 for a referendum in the 2014 general election.

Indianapolis already adds 2 percent on sales of prepared food and beverages to the state’s 7-percent sales tax to support sports venues downtown. Hurst calls the proposal a "Common Cents" initiative and says an advisory board would could oversee the new revenue.

CHIP aims to become a strong advocate for public funding to address the city’s roughly 1,500 homeless. That estimated population has been cut in half since the first Blueprint was released in 2002.

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