Hammond Mayor Thomas M. McDermott, Jr. has announced his opposition against the passage of any wheel tax on Hammond residents. Mayor McDermott instead vows to use a special local income tax distribution as a 50/50 match on road improvement funds matched by the State of Indiana. “I do not believe citizens should be forced to pay increased taxes in order to receive normal state road funds,” stated Mayor McDermott.
As a reminder in March of 2016, the Indiana General Assembly passed HB1001 (SB 67) which make funding available for eligible bridge and road improvement projects at a 50/50 match for local communities. In order to receive the 50/50 match, municipalities must use funds: 1) generated by an increase of the motor vehicle excise surtax or wheel tax; 2) from a special distribution of local income taxes; or 3) through a municipality’s rainy day fund.
“Fortunately, the City of Hammond has been able to keep up with most of our road improvements through the years from the diligent and proper use of gaming revenues generated from our development agreement with Horseshoe Casino,” stated Mayor McDermott. “Over the past 22 years, Hammond officials have been rebuilding the infrastructure of our City with these funds. As such, we find ourselves in a different situation than some of our northwest Indiana neighbors do.”