"The Official Portrait of Miss InDiana"

"The Official Portrait of Miss InDiana"
aka "Miss Victory"

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Sen. Kenley does not want your property taxes repealed

Repeal Property Taxes? Can Local Govt’s Afford it?
Sen. Kenley Announces 4th Property Tax Hearing for Aug. 27 at 1pm in the State House Room 404.

The Indy Star article below suggests that Senator Kenley, Chairman, Tax and Fiscal Policy Committee, is not listening to the voters and is pessimistic about property tax repeal. Our politicians need to hear our message loud and clear. We expect all property tax in Indiana to be repealed and will not stop with our protests until our politicians do as we say. If Kenley wants any chance of re-election he needs to get on board with the will of The People who are his boss.

"For many, Indiana property taxes -- which are assessed, raised and spent by units of local government -- are at unreasonable, even distressing levels. Some argue for their permanent elimination through a constitutional amendment.
Currently, all 50 states rely on property taxes. Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Pennsylvania made efforts this year to completely eliminate them. All failed. So far, evidence suggests that the elimination approach is unsound. However, Indiana lawmakers are carefully considering if Indiana could and should
repeal property taxes.

Our first consideration is the amount of revenue
needed to replace property taxes. Today in Indiana, that amount is $5.8
billion. Given that a penny on our sales tax raises $900 million, the sales tax
would have to be raised 6.2 percentage points beyond our current 6 percent to
replace property taxes. That would risk putting Hoosier merchants competing with
neighboring states out of business and Internet sellers a 12.2 percent
competitive advantage over our bricks-and-mortar retailers.
Similarly, Indiana's income tax would have to be raised by 4.67 to 8.07 percent. Some combination might be achievable, but close analysis of all side effects needs to
be made on behalf of Indiana businesses and workers. NOT ENOUGH RETURN

One elimination proposal, supported by Advance America's Eric Miller, raises
sales tax by 2 percent and income tax by 1 percent, but those two steps raise
only half the money needed to replace property taxes.

Changing Indiana's constitution requires an amendment to pass two separately elected legislatures and be approved by voters -- a process that will take at least four years. I doubt taxpayers can and will wait that long for reform.
Fortunately, we have more immediate opportunities before us to begin solving this problem: Through Oct. 1, each county has the ability to adopt a 1 percent local
option income tax, which if directed to property tax relief would reduce
homeowners' property taxes by more than 50 percent beginning next year. This
would permanently help all taxpayers, but especially senior citizens.

A 2 percent circuit breaker goes into effect in 2008, insuring their property taxes
will be no more than 2 percent of the gross assessed value of their home.
Other reforms need to be done, including how we do assessments and how we
protect rental properties, senior and disabled citizens.
Capital Project Review Boards with elected citizen representatives are being established in all counties to review government construction projects.
Additional reforms will come from the governor's panel on local government reform. In the end, high taxes are a result of high spending.


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