"The Official Portrait of Miss InDiana"

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

Monday, August 11, 2008

No property tax 'relief' in Richmond Indiana

Supposedly our state senators led by elitist politician Teresa Lubbers are studying property tax repeal this summer over at the state house. Funny thing is, we've not heard a peep about how it is going. What they are really studying is how not to repeal property tax and, at the same time, keep the citizens from surrounding the state house with pitchforks and torches.

Meanwhile, we did hear from folks in Richmond Indiana via their local news that residents are seeing on average increases of 20% to 45% and that the property tax burden appears to be shifted to landlords and business owners.

Here's the story:
August 10, 2008
Farmers, business owners, landlords not feeling relief
Their property tax bills increase
Not everybody is cheering the tax relief the General Assembly provided for homeowners this year.
Farmers, landlords and business owners are digging in their pockets to pay 2008 property tax bills that are 25 to 50 percent higher than in 2007, while homeowners are seeing similar reductions.

Farm manager Steve Slonaker of Centerville started sorting through a stack of property tax bills for his clients last week, but the news was so bad -- 20 to 45 percent increases -- he stopped looking at them.

"I was so disappointed, I quit for a while," Slonaker said. "We thought we were supporting tax relief. What happened?"

The skyrocketing taxes on rental housing are almost discriminatory against people who can't afford to buy a home, said landlord and real estate agent Terry Robinson of Richmond. Taxes on rentals are up 30 to 50 percent this year, he said.

"They think it just affects rich landlords, who ought to pay more anyway, but we can't charge any more rent," Robinson said. "At $850 a month rent, it's absolutely a negative for me. Nice rentals will disappear. We're going to have rentals in disrepair and foreclosure."

Businessman Terry Harkleroad said property taxes weren't reduced, only shifted from homeowners to landlords, renters and business and commercial property owners. The mortgage crisis and foreclosure epidemic is enlarging the class of people who are now renters, instead of owners, he said.

"Those Marion County homeowners who protested (last year) got their relief, but there is no association of landlords or renters and we got pushed into the corner. Tenants had no voice and they'll pay more rent. The next time the lease is up for renewal, they'll get walloped."
Small businesses also will feel the impact, Harkleroad said.

"It has the potential of putting some businesses out of business and government just keeps getting bigger," Harkleroad said.

The General Assembly did increase renters' Indiana income tax deduction this year for rent payments to $3,000, up from $2,500. The earned income tax credit for the working poor will jump to 9 percent, up from 6 percent, to help offset the one-cent increase in the sales tax that's paying for homeowner tax relief.

Some landlords may see tax reductions on rental properties in 2009 and 2010 because of the coming caps on property taxes. Rental and farmland taxes are capped at 2.5 percent of the property's assessed value in 2009 and at 2 percent in 2010. Homeowner taxes, though will be capped at a better rate, 1.5 percent of assessed value next year and 1 percent in 2010.

Slonaker predicted many farmhouse rentals will be demolished due to high taxes. Rents must rise to pay the taxes and it's already been difficult to get quality rural renters because of high gasoline prices, Slonaker said.

The state raised the base value of tillable farmland last year to $1,140 an acre, up from the $880 an acre used since 2005. The base assessed value for farmland increases to $1,200 in 2009, Union County assessor Diana Baker said.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this article. I hope the folks in Richmond and around the state are not misled by the Marion Co. efforts. Though we did make some waves in an attempt to get legislators to abolish property taxes because they are unethical, subjective, and ripe for corruption and error, this Marion Co. resident (and countless others) got no meaningful relief from property taxes. Further, I get to pay more for a house assessed nearly $50,000 less than the first assessment I received last summer. While a $400 rebate was better than nothing, I still owed $1300 for the makeup bill and don't know how much more I'll have to come up with when this year's bills arrive (probably conveniently AFTER the Nov. election).

I'm not a big Dr. Phil fan but to borrow one of his quips: Let's get real! There truly has been no property tax relief for the whole of Indiana. I hope there will be far more people who will raise their voices and demand repeal when the GA convenes next session...and keep at them until this obscene, twisted form of taxation is gone forever and replaced with spending cuts and more transparent forms of taxation.

Anonymous said...

The spending has to do with the fact that the government uses your house literally as collateral against the bond debt.

It is also caused by over spending of local governments on things like sports funding and arts funding.

Finally, probably the worst culprit is school spending. Our schools think nothing of borrowing money they don't have to add on luxurious and completely unncessary sports complexes.

Finally, our lawmakers are violating the Indiana Constitution and they know it. Every time the question of Article 8, Section 2 of the Indiana constitution comes up in a public forum...the polticians ignore the person who asked the question.

Ask the governor why we cannot question our politicians in regard to their failure to uphold the foundation of law in our state.

Anonymous said...

FYI: I emailed Senator Lubbers a while ago asking the status of SJR8 now in the summer study committee on how to send this to oblivion. She replied it had one meeting.She did not say what took place. (One can only guess) I looked online and could find no references to it today.

Pete Boggs said...

Citizens need to know that the noticing requirements were changed dramatically (HB 1145 ?) during the last session of the legislature. Rather than notifying citizens directly, counties may now publish foreclosure notices TWO WEEKS before the Sheriff's sale, where many UNSUSPECTING OWNERS WILL LOOSE THEIR PROPERTIES NEXT MONTH.

The Marion County treasurer's office is telling people (only when they ask) that the sale will be held in September this year (vs. the traditional October timing), but as of last week they didn't have an exact date for the sale!!!

An attentive opposition party might notice that the "party in power" promised tax "relief" in the specious form of HB 1001 & the Capitol City's new mayor was elected on a platform of eliminating property taxes on homesteads, in a county that's about to avail itself of a newly developed tool of CONFISCATION (HB 1145). Wonder how that'll play in the election(s) to come... ?

Funny, when it comes to considering public interests (like repeal), the best our "representatives" can do is a bogus round of golf- er summer study.


Summer study session is code for "bury it" and hope the sheeple forget while we start up the propoganda machine called "relief" and "property tax caps".

Regarding Senator Teresa Lubbers, We've been given some information lately on Teresa Lubbers and where her campaign donations are coming from.

Senator Lubbers says she doesn't take money from PACs, but that is a half-truth. She doesn't take the money directly from them, but indirectly she does.

Many of her campaign contributions are from spouses of lobbyists. It's a dirty business, isn't it Teresa?

Watch the blog for a story on the whose who of lobbyists' spouses and what they contribute.

Also I heard talk this weekend that some taxpayers want to picket her house at 5425 North New Jersey because their tax bills are sky high.

We are trying to find out if the summer study session for property tax repeal has contacted either of the two world-class economists who developed plans for repeal.

Dr. Styring said he would volunteer his time to the state. In case you didn't know, Dr. Styring was an economic policy advisor to the state for decades.