John Ketzenberger

John
Ketzenberger

Ketzenberger is a business and political analyst.

Full Biography

Ketzenberger is a business and political analyst.

Full Biography

June 10, 2014 8:14 AM 1 Comment

Losing our collective mind

America went bonkers with outrage in the moments after the owner of Triple-Crown losing California Chrome questioned whether it was fair for his horse to race against others who did not run the Kentucky Derby or the Preakness. Two days later, bowing to the outrage, Steve Coburn tearfully apologized. A day after the horse race two demented extremists spouting faux patriot rhetoric heard daily on the Alex Jones Show killed three people, including two police officers, before offing themselves.…

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April 24, 2014 5:18 PM

Big game hunting

The National Rifle Association’s annual meeting is in town and here’s what amazes me: it took 10 years to get the deal done. And it did seem like VisitIndy was trying to keep a lid on the news, as if it was ashamed it had landed this big convention. Indianapolis would seem to be a no-brainer for the NRA, though, much like the many church conferences held every year here. We’re a pious bunch, whether…

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April 15, 2014 10:17 AM 1 Comment

Ranked and noted, but do we get what we expect?

Happy Tax Day! You should know a recent ranking by the Tax Foundation shows Indiana’s plummeted during a decade compared with other states in the amount of state and local taxes Hoosiers pay. How can that be after years of cutting taxes? A recent Tax Foundation report shows Indiana’s state and local tax take in 2001 ranked 43rd, or seventh from the lowest. By 2011, the last year for complete numbers, Indiana had jumped to…

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March 14, 2014 1:56 PM

Perspective is everything

In November Gov. Mike Pence imposed austerity measures on state government when revenue reports showed tax collections were off $140 million. Tax collections remain less than expected, but the governor’s perspective sure has changed. Even before the General Assembly finished its session, Pence released a video hailing the session, especially a new pilot to provide vouchers for some pre-schoolers, new highway spending and tax cuts that will cost the state even more revenue. It’s enough…

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February 18, 2014 4:55 PM 1 Comment

Catch a breath before more tax cuts

The startlingly fast evolution of the proposed elimination of personal property taxes on business equipment and machinery is about to slow down–and that’s good. Sen. Luke Kenley, R-Noblesville, told people who attended today’s meeting of the Senate Appropriations Committee he chairs the issue is probably too complicated for a short legislative session. He’s right, but the process so far has created some interesting options for study committees to consider, a most encouraging development. Since Gov.…

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January 10, 2014 11:50 AM

Big Hat bummer

I’m happy Indiana’s own Hat World is planning to hire 750 people over the next several years, but Big Hat Books’ closure dampens the happiness. It’s sort of like the economy overall—a little up, a little down–but we’ll get to that in a second. First I want to thank Liz Barden for sharing Big Hat with Indy’s readers. It’s a shame there are so few independent bookstores in a city of our size.  I’ll miss…

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December 26, 2013 4:25 PM 2 Comments

Clearly reporting tax policy

Attorney Peter Rusthoven recently used his IBJ column to discuss a column I wrote for the Indianapolis Star. Somehow it just made sense to use the Forefront blog to continue this discussion. There are a couple things I’d like to refute in Rusthoven’s piece, but first I’ll stipulate to the fact we’re friends. We’ve enjoyed a long running discussion of policy and politics, although most of the time it’s over beers. Rusthoven’s column is a…

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December 17, 2013 7:35 PM 1 Comment

A rounding error

Indiana’s tax collections are $141 million less than expected five months into the fiscal year, so Gov. Mike Pence has called for action. The state’s universities were ordered to trim spending 2 percent while state agencies will reduce their budgets by 1.5 percent. The expected savings: $57 million, which includes the sale of the King Air plane the governor uses. These cuts are on top of $110 million in reductions Pence ordered in July within…

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November 20, 2013 7:21 PM

So long to a Statehouse pro

The Statehouse lobby is full of interesting people. If you hang around long enough you know whom to watch if you want to know what’s really happening. Robert Margraf was one of those people to watch in the 1980s and 90s. The chief lobbyist for the Indiana State Teachers Association saw politics in three dimensions and used that to the advantage of the ISTA and Democrats. Margraf helped spearhead the defeat of House Speaker J.…

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November 5, 2013 10:43 AM 4 Comments

This is policing the Monon?

Somewhere Ray Irvin’s laughing about this Monon Trail etiquette thing in Carmel. The city council is turning itself inside-out trying to police the popular rail-trail. Cyclists who mistake the Monon for the Champs-Elysees now face fines while discourteous strollers who block the trail don’t. Good luck policing this mess. Who’s Ray Irvin? He’s the Monon’s godfather, the guy who sold the idea of turning an abandoned railbed into a “linear park” in the 1980s and…

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