"The Official Portrait of Miss InDiana"

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

Monday, February 11, 2008

Why the 1% cap is unfair

There seems to be some momentum at the statehouse for the 1% property tax cap. Even Mayor Ballard, who promised us he would use his position to back property tax repeal, seems to be giving into the governor's well-meaning plan to cap property tax.

But will a 1% cap work?

How can it? As long as it requires an assessor to make a judgement value concerning a property's worth, it will be unfair.

Perhaps we need to revisit Ed Angleton's lesson in creative assessing. He's the Cottage Home resident who saw his taxes increase by more than 800%! The assessor appraised his house many times higher than his neighbors. Do you think he has a prayer of selling his home? The government buried him! Where is he going to get the money to pay the 800% tax increase? From his home maintenance budget? From his savings account? What necessity will have to be trimmed from Ed's budget to pay the bill?

We get calls and emails from all over the state from citizens who complain that their property assessments are far above what they can get for their homes and that political cronies inside the machine often see substantially lower assessments.

As long as an assessor judges the value of a home, the homeowner loses. The cost of assessing our homes is also quite expensive. Property tax administration and collection is far more costly than sales or income tax collection. For instance, county assessor Greg Bowes testified that Marion county's reassessment will cost our taxpayers $1.8 million! He also testified that we will only see a 5% reduction in tax when we finally get the new bills. Within a few weeks, Marion county homeowners will be faced with paying last years' tax increase as well as this years' full bill.

This policy is going to create havoc for mortgage companies and our escrow accounts.

Is it moral for a government to charge its citizens tax on unrealized capital gains? Why would you remove the incentive for hardworking Hoosiers to go into distressed neighborhoods to buy and rehab abandoned homes? Why should they if they have no guarantee that they can pay their property tax after they invest their sweat equity? 6

Property tax is clearly unfair policy. The truth of the matter is that the entire legislature is covering for the fact that for years they have used your home as collateral against bond indebtedness. They allowed thousands of non-elected officials and boards raise your taxes to pay for their pet projects like football stadiums, libraries, and swimming pools.

Yet they can't seem to find the money to pay for textbooks. Each time the state mentions budget cuts, they start whining that our children will suffer! Sounds like their education already is suffering since we force parents to pay as much as $500 for their children's textbooks each year.

The truth is that our property is held hostage to the wasteful construction bond debt, not school books or teachers. These feigned cries are more likely from legislators swayed by the ISTA. Ask any teacher and they will tell you that they have little involvement with the ISTA. That's the educrats whining, not the teachers.

Our lawmakers also flat out refuse to acknowledge that the state is in violation of Article 8 of the Indiana Constitution which states that school funds shall be collected from business, not homeowners. When realtor and property tax repeal advocate, Mike Rowe, brought this up at Channel 13's state house forum, his point was purposely ignored by panelists Espich, Orentlicter, Kenley, and Crawford. Obviously our Constitution and the rule of law means nothing to any of them.

What legal loophole exists to get us out of the fact that our government stole our homes to use as its bond debt collateral?

Can anyone offer a legal strategy?


Anonymous said...

I think Article 13 offers a way more clear. It is one sentence long.

colonist said...

And don't forget the lack of required uniformity. What's cap is good for homeowners should also extend to farmers and businesses.

mike in homecroft said...

speaking of escrow payments, I contacted my lender concerning spring taxes for last year and advised them of the current taxing issues. when i received my end of year statement i find I have paid taxes 3 times at the full price and my house payment went up again. this is also frustrating since my homestead and mortgage exemption just disappeared for no reason. the response of the assesor office was basically too bad so sad


I hope many of you will travel with us on March 1st to the Indiana Tea Party in Lake county.

It will be covered by local and national media.

Peat Bogs said...

Once again, the blogs have it all over the dues media. One percent works for government spending more of the citizens shrinking income. Taxpayers are going to PAY MORE TAX for this "keeping jive alive" property tax "relief." The legislature is doing the same old thing- MORE NEW TAXES.

Anonymous said...

I know a person who paid an assessor friend to assess his property and used that to appeal-now their taxes are lower than the rest of the neighborhood. Assessments can be bought.

Taxpayer said...

Is it "moral" to charge us a tax on unrealized capital gains? Of course not -- but since when does morality have anything to do with politics (unless it's defined as the government meddling in our personal lives!)

People, keep the pressure on your legislators. I just e-mailed mine again with my distress at all the bureaucrats whining about how they can't function with less of my money. Tell them you're sick of listening to school officials threatening to cut teachers instead of reining in Olympic sports facilities and administration palaces. Tell them you don't want to hear any more about eliminating police and firefighters instead of layers of bureaucracy whose only purpose is to perpetuate itself. These officials are frightening their employees into mounting phone and mail campaigns AGAINST property tax relief. Call their bluff! If we don't, we are going to lose this fight -- and our homes.

Jessica said...

Have u try the online bookstore Cocomartini.com

I get all my textbooks for this semester from this bookstore. All are brand new textbooks and half price discount textbooks.

Good luck and wish some help.

hehe ^_^