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Fishers proposes property tax increase to pay for Nickel Plate Railroad transformation

Posted at 7:03 PM, Sep 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-18 05:58:47-04

FISHERS, Ind. -- Fishers’ mayor has big plans for the Nickel Plate Railroad, and he wants taxpayers to help fund its transformation. 

The city of Fishers wants to transform the rail line -which has gone unused for the past two years - into a pedestrian walking trail.

To cover those costs, the city has proposed a property tax increase of 4 cents per $100 of assessed home value. The increase would mean that someone owning a home that costs $200,000 would have to pay an additional $80 per year.

The city says they estimate constructing the first phase of the project between 106th and 126th streets will cost about $4 million. The rest of the money from the project will go toward road improvement projects and police and fire.

Some Fishers residents support the increase and the construction on the Nickel Plate Railroad.

“The railroad wasn’t being used anyway except for once a year,” Tony Watt said. “To find a different use for it as something that families could use, I mean kids and adults alike.”

Others aren’t too happy about the thought of paying even more in taxes.

“I do not need another property tax, that’s for sure,” said Patricia Colvin. “A lot of these people that live here, we are on fixed income, and we would just not be happy.”

Two years ago, the train was found to be unsafe and is no longer in use – which is why the city came up with the idea to transform it into a pedestrian trail.

But a group leading the charge against that plan says they feel their concerns have fallen on deaf ears, and they’re still hoping the city will reconsider tearing up the old rail line.

“To throw it away for a trail, I don’t think that’s appropriate action here,” said Logan Day, spokesperson for “Save the Nickel Plate.” They need to be looking at combining uses and multi-modal transportation, that’s what we need. If you can save one and build another, do that.”

The budget proposal will be presented at Monday evening’s city council meeting. The council will then have the opportunity to make changes before they vote on it in late October.

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