It's not looking good for tomorrow's rally to on, but stay tuned to our site for an update by 8:30 am on Friday. We do not want anyone on the road in bad weather and care first for the safety of our activists who are planning to travel to the capitol for the rally.
THE WEATHER FORECASE FROM INDIANAPOLIS WTHR:
Indianapolis - A winter storm warning is in effect for much of central and southern Indiana through Friday morning.
Heavy snow will start to develop between 7:00 and 9:00 pm Thursday evening, changing to ice overnight and then turning back to snow around 2:00 to 3:00 am. The biggest danger is ice coating streets and power lines, especially in the southern counties.
Four to eight inches of snow are expected to fall in Central Indiana. Ice is expected to the south, including Bloomington and Shelbyville. Kokomo, Lafayette and other areas to the north could see as much as ten inches.
The Indianapolis Department of Public Works will have a full crew of at least 75 drivers on duty beginning around 3:00 pm Thursday to pre-treat the roads. They will work in 12-hour shifts as long as necessary to deal with the expected accumulation of snow and ice.
Thursday, January 31, 2008
It's not looking good for tomorrow's rally to on, but stay tuned to our site for an update by 8:30 am on Friday. We do not want anyone on the road in bad weather and care first for the safety of our activists who are planning to travel to the capitol for the rally.
Posted by M Theory at Thursday, January 31, 2008
The Indiana Roof Ballroom on Thursday’s Inaugural Ball for the newly elected Indianapolis Mayor Ballard became the site for a much anticipated event for those who initially supported him and those Johnny-come-latelys who wanted to clamor expo facto attention. Emceed by radio talk show host, Greg Garrison, Ballard’s pithy recitation of his 10 itemized Ballard’s Rules left no doubt that despite his down home demeanor, this marine officer means business, with crime in his crosshairs and accountability as the team uniform.
Good food, beverages, and dancing ruled the evening where several tax reform and repeal advocates received personal thanks from both Ballard and the Governor, who admittedly looked alittle frayed and took a seat. News of the evening from activists was the controversial property tax ‘caps’ legislation that just switched houses and was met with a roadblock of amendments; not the least of which included the horrid lawmaker word “repeal”.
The evening was a great gesture from a humble person, but let no one underestimate the Mayor’s strengths again.
On a personal note, my two words to Governor Daniels were “Repeal” and “Repeal”. If there was any doubt he had stepped from his rollercoaster into Activists territory, it’s no wonder he had to take a seat.
Posted by M Theory at Thursday, January 31, 2008
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
IMPORTANT WEATHER UPDATE: Please check here Friday morning before 8:30 am to see if the rally is cancelled due to weather. We're expecting heavy sleet, ice, snow starting at 7pm tonight and continuing until at least noon tomorrow.
I waivered back and forth for days about the rally on Friday at the state house. I didn't know the right thing to do. I knew that I could not stand with Eric Miller and John Price who are using the the marriage amendment as a wedge in the property tax repeal movement, yet I did not want to create divide within the ranks of people who support property tax repeal. However, upon reflection and yesterday's move by Representative Turner to attach the marriage amendment to property tax reform, I realized I'm not the one driving the wedge.
The wedge is being driven by Representative Bosma and Representative Turner with help from the ever-opportunistic Advance America and Eric Miller. The marriage amendment issue took precious time last year in the general assembly that could have been used to divert Indiana from the tax crisis it faces. Now they are doing the same thing again! This is wrong and we need to tell them it is wrong!
Today Gary Welsh of Advance Indiana correctly compares Eric Miller's state house antics as similar to the KKK. It seems a lot of Hoosiers agree. There is no reason to bind the marriage amendment to property tax repeal. Our legislators AND Eric Miller are making a mockery out of the troubled lives of Hoosiers who are counting on our legislators to get us out of this mess and get us relief. It is looking like our only option will be to vote out this crop of state house trouble makers and get people in who will fix the problem.
In Eric Miller's property tax repeal literature, you get the opportunity to save $40 and buy his program to learn to run a campaign for just $99. He's always finding a way to make the bucks off his flock, their pain and their anger, isn't he? Kudo's to Gary Welsh for pointing that out.
Hoosiers For Fair Taxation will never ask you for money. We are merely volunteers and we pitch in what we can to the cause as needed. Melyssa, Laura Hile, Paul Wheeler, Jeff Hays, Ken Morgan, Max Katz, Dave Bond, Wayne Kirk, Sean Sheperd, Andy Horning, and a host of others fund projects when the need arises.
We are not here to make money off your anger or advance any agenda except open, friendly, transparent, and accountable government. That and we shall work tirelessly to see that property tax is repealed. We welcome newcomers with open arms and give you meaningful work to do.
I long to see my beloved Indiana as culturally diverse, tolerant of others, and fiscally sound with the People rightfully in control of government.
Please join us on Friday at noon at the state house.
Melyssa, founder & volunteer
HOOSIERS FOR FAIR TAXATION
So how does Indiana factor into this other than the obvious similarities?
Known as ‘Naptown’, Indianapolis is a perfect example of citizens in a Rip Van Winkle sleep with electile dysfunction, while legislatively challenged lawmakers as beauty contestant winners from their district, drive residents down a road of property tax Despair instead of Repair.
The debate is not who is responsible for these unqualified and fiscally and morally challenged legislators, but whether citizens will exercise their voice once awakened to the encroachment of their inherent rights and invasion of their property and pocket book. 2007 answered with more than a yawn, with protests and a Tea Party vote that carried results with a message we’ve ‘had enough’, ‘we’re watching’ and ‘we’re not going away’.
Just as the first tea party sparked a movement that took a few revolutionary years to complete, activists must learn to walk on their sleepy unstreched legs while exercising patience coupled with fortitude and continued activism until this battle turns in favor of citizen-employer. Many editorialists, columnists, and bloggers within Indiana have issued alerts that citizens; not legislators, should be the ones to stand up and demand accountability for leaders they put into office for anything of substance to result, and with justifiable reasoning claim we should not leave reform to the political foxes in charge of the chicken coop. At least the media got it, finally. Activists should not be deceived by the daily proliferation of proposals, amendments, pandering and sound bites; much of which is meant for public consumption or political posturing.
Conversely, it seems statis lawmakers are the ones who are now in slumber land, oblivious to the cries of an electorate which won’t go away, and they consider IN the way and to be ignored.
We are half way through a legislative process that will guarantee little fiscal relief, because it is being designed as a sleeping pill to put us to bed. Now that we have awakened from a long winter’s nap, let’s hope we don’t swallow it. The idea of reform in stages is good, but legislators’ only permanent fix about tax reform has become a permanent mess.
While citizen activists do not have a waiting limo with open door waiting for a lawmaker to be whisked to the nearest watering hole for a good ol boy guzzling, we only have our guts and ‘common sense’; our voice and our vote. One thing is certain. True reform will not happen this session, despite the deceptive spin of the biggest tax break in history. As in colonial times, the battle must continue with vigilance until the war is won by citizen action. We are left with no choice but to remove every incumbent in November until they get it right and let our voice be heard until they wake up.
IMPORTANT WEATHER UPDATE: Please check here Friday morning before 8:30 am to see if the rally is cancelled due to weather. We're expecting heavy sleet, ice, snow starting at 7pm tonight and continuing until at least noon tomorrow. --HFFT editor
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (please forward)
Media Contact: HOOSIERS FOR FAIR TAXATION
Melyssa Donaghy 317-938-8913
Property Tax Rally
February 1, 2008
Noon at The State House
We expect the government to get out of our personal lives. Since politicians have proven they cannot effectively govern the government with our best interests in mind, why would we want them involved in our personal relationships?
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
When: Thursday, February 7, 2008
(This also happens to be Steve's Birthday)
Where: The Columbia Club 121 Monument Circle
Cost: $75 per person (Payment accepted at the door)
Drinks and Hors d'oeuvres included
While Eric Miller has done a lot to push property tax repeal, he is now purposely driving a wedge into the property tax repeal momentum by attemptoing to attach citizen activism to his homo-hatred agenda.
We want citizens throughout the state to know that HOOSIERS FOR FAIR TAXATION will be there. We are here for ALL of Indiana citizens and do not support the marriage amendment or any other legislation that oppresses Indiana's people. We support open, accountable government that uses our money wisely.
Join us at noon on Friday and look for the giant banner that says: "Politicans, do you want our houses?" Bring signs and posters.
According to our site stats Tremco, the Ohio-based roofing contractor we told you about , was up bright and early and all over our blog this morning. An hour later Ice Miller. the law firm that represented Tremco's libel suit against the NW Indiana activist who exposed Tremco, was visiting.
Think they'll slap a libel suit on us too? They don't like it when we citizens meddle with our own tax dollars, do they?
As an aside, Tom John who heads the Marion County Republican party, accepted a position at Ice Miller this week. The Marion County Republicn Party is the same band of hooligans that didn't support their own candidate, Greg Ballard in the election. In fact, a couple weeks before the election Tom John said to someone right in front of Greg Ballard that becoming mayor was a lost cause. Nice, huh?
We hope Ballard never forgets who put him in office. We're working hard to get the cronyism in Indiana government broken up. We need the whole state to pitch in and help.
UPDATE: We were incorrect in stating that Ice Miller filed the libel suit against Ms. Vice and stand corrected. The suit was filed, but by another firm. Ice Miller does have a big heavy hand in lobbying against the taxpayer and for Tremco at the state house. You can read more about it here.
Andy Horning is a devout Christian and devout patriot. Andy Horning doesn't judge others either. In his essay today he describes the marriage amendment as "marriage is between a man, a woman, and Caesar". Andy gets it. Here's what he had to say today on his "WE DECLARE" blog.
"I’ve gotten a slew of emails today about SJR 7. I may as well post what I’d said to some in reply:Unfortunately, what SJR 7 really does is formalize the thinking that marriage is between a man, a woman, and Caesar. Christians should define marriage as a Holy covenant between a man, a woman, and God - not as a state contract with all sorts of bennies. But with Social Security, bereavement pay, visitation rights, property rights, work rules, tax rules and more rules, rules rules from the Great Golden Calf of State, we’ve desecrated the Holy covenant, and have put self-acclaimed Christians in the preposterous role of advocating legal disparity in matters of simple justice.
If SJR 7 advocates get their way with this resolution, then politicians, not church officials, will have all authority in the matter of “marriage,” and a new crop of politicians may someday declare that marriage can be only between a man and a goat.
I say we should get the state out of marriage entirely. Take from Caesar what is God’s.
Post script: Since when have politicians cared about the constitution? Why amend what they will not obey? Obey what we’ve got, and then we’ll just see if we need to amend anything…"
Hat tip to OneTaxBillFromHomeless.com who first published this list. We need the list published on blogs state wide.
Notice: To members of the Indiana Republican Senate Caucus
You have until noon on Thursday, January 31st, to clear your names or clarify your caucus votes, on this public forum, regarding SJR8 (property tax repeal), taken on Thursday, January 17th.
By force of special interests rather than leadership, you voted in secret, to deny the citizens their freedom of speech, entrusted to the people who should represent them.In the absence of open process, here are the people's "Top Ten" or Republican Senators, who in a forced, closed caucus (1/17/08), voted to bring property tax repeal to the floor of the Indiana Senate for an open vote. Until or unless the record is corrected by members of the caucus (with verification), the people have it on excellent authority, that the following, first list of ten people are the good guys, and the second list of 23 Senators are the not so good:
List #1: Senators for the People and open process:
THE GOOD GUYS
1) Phil Boots
2) Mike Delph
3) Jeff Drozda
4) Greg Walker
5) Brent Waltz
6) John Waterman
7) Tom Weatherwax
8) Brent Steele
9) Mike Young
10) Joe Zakas
#2: People's 'GIT LIST' (git outa here)
or senators opposed to open process
THE BAD GUYS
1 ) Ron Alting
2) Vaneta Becker
3) Richard Bray
4) Dr. Gary Dillon
5) David Ford
6) Beverly Gard
7) Victor Heinold
8) Brandt Hershmann
9) Robert Jackman
10) Luke Kenley
11) Dennis Kruse
12) Sue Landske
13) Connie Lawson
14) David Long
15) Teresa Lubbers
16) Robert Meeks
17) James Merritt
18) Pat Miller
19) Frank Mrvan
20) Johnny Nugent
21) Allen Paul
22) Marvin Riegsecker
23) Tom Wyss
Monday, January 28, 2008
(b) This Constitution or any other Indiana law may not be construed to require that marital status or the legal incidents of marriage be conferred upon unmarried couples or groups.".
I will admit I've been torn about what to do since first learning of Eric Miller's February 1st repeal rally because he is planning to attach his homo-hatred agenda to the property tax activists' agenda. I was going to hold a separate rally on the same day, but then changed my mind because I didn't want to bring attention to SJR 7 (marriage definition amendment) and I didn't want to show division among property tax activists. However, I can no longer be quiet.
We will be at Eric Miller's Rally on Friday with plenty of ammunition.
--Melyssa, volunteer & founder
HOOSIERS FOR FAIR TAXATION
Roofing contractor's training manual explains how to trick schools into tripling their construction budgets
Want to get rich by screwing taxpayers and school systems? Then read the excerpts from the Tremco training manual that we published below. Big Hat Tip to Indiana activist Diane Vice at Welcome to My Tea Party
Companies who rip off school systems (like the one we are exposing today) are the real reason why educrats and house democrats whined to reporters when their funding is getting cut. Our kids' educations aren't threatened. What is getting threatened are their kickbacks, tickets, and wining and dining on the public dime.
We need school superintendents and facilities managers to do their home work and get the taxpayers good deals on maintenance and remodel projects. We also need to make sure ALL of Indiana's companies have equal access to compete for contracts. Price fixing, bond debt, and lazy, greedy educrats are the real reason school budgets need to be slashed. There is meaning in the fact that the ISTA building is across from the capitol. Ever think of that? --HFFT editor
FROM THE TREMCO TRAINING MANUAL:
Controlling the School and Public Work
1) Public monies are budgeted for roof work a year in advance. These funds are spent unless a major catastrophe occurs. We must make every effort to be a factor in the budget setting process. Some years when industry is down the public monies are good. We need to diversify our business so that we do not get hurt in any one segment of our market place.
2) These school and public work accounts vary in size. The large the account the more competition you will encounter. We need to be calling on all size accounts so that we do not rely too heavily one one particular account to make our year.
3) Start out with these accounts in the same manner as any other account. Find out what the business manager or superintendent's priorities are.....
4) Once we create a need and get agreement from the account, try and keep the job from going out for public bid. We must show the account why it is to his advantage not to go out for public bid....
C) Small separate purchase orders [Remember the "change order" from Rossville?]...
5) Write specifications to make sure we include all details and be as thorough as possible.
A) Write items into the specs which our competition does not have.
B) Mix the job up. Write in Tremline, NTB fasteners, resaturation, etc. Make it complete as possible.
6) Make sure there is a pre-bid meeting. This way you will know who your competition is before the bids are opened. Make the pre-bid mandatory and have it early in the advertisement.
A) Any changes in the specifications or materials will be sent out in an addendum. Never have your business manager or yourself be put in a position whereby a decision is made on the spot on any item in the specifications whether it be materials or methods of application. In this manner you can still control the final outcome with changes...
7) Contact all contractors that have picked up specifications. Make it clear that you will give them material prices as long as they do not submit an alternate to the specifications. Make it clear to a competitive contractor that it would be to their advantage to bid your specifications and not the alternate. Neutralizing them is all we can expect...
9) Stay in contact with the business manager to make sure there have been no changes. Check to see who picked up specifications.
NEWS BROADCASTS ABOUT TREMCO
We recently talked with Lake county homemaker, Diane Vice, who single-handedly is exposing the corruption of Tremco Co. via her blog "Welcome to My Tea Party". Tremco is a roofing contractor that attached itself to a buying club that schools use for purchase of consumable materials. They are designed to give school systems volume discounts on pencils, paper, toilet paper, and cleaning supplies.
Tremco charges schools, and ultimately taxpayers, about three times the cost of similar roofing materials you can buy from GAF or other quality manufacturers. Diane began to break open the scam when roofers in her area were complaining that they couldn't get contracts and the money was going out-of-state to Ohio based Tremco.
Eventually Diane's whistle blower oddysey led her to testitfy before an Indiana senate committee who promised to help. Unfortunately things fell apart after Tremco spent big bucks to send in their lobbyists and plenty of Ice Miller lawyers who prompty sued our whistle blower heroine for libel.
EVENT: Public Information Meeting about Washington Township Schools’ $183 million building plan
SPONSORED BY: Citizens For Education (CFE)
DATE: Thursday, Jan 31 at 7 pm.
PLACE: Pleasant View Lutheran Church
801 W. 73rd St. (Corner of 73rd and Hoover Rd.)
45% of our property taxes go to our Washington Township schools—approx. $100 million/year!
80% of Washington Township residents do not have children in Washington Township Schools
A 2005 $50 million Bond Compromise Agreement was accepted—and broken by the Board in 2006.
A potential $185 million construction bond issue is awaiting the next Board.
Does CFE want an excellent education for our students? YES
Does CFE believe that there is waste in the school budget? YES
Does CFE believe that school dollars should be devoted to education and teachers FIRST? YES
Does CFE want to keep school dollars in the classroom for teaching, not for building classrooms? YES
Citizens For Education is a new organization whose mission is:
"To promote the district values of Respect, Responsibility, Honesty, Courage, Caring, Self-Discipline; To promote the use of taxpayer funds for the primary goal of student education;
To elect responsible persons to the WT School Board"
EVERYONE IS INVITED
Please come--bring your friends and neighbors!
For more information, contact Penny Bigelow, President
SJR8, May, November?
Their paternal tones, crash land in the ears of their peers- their constituents. Unaware and disconnected; the state housed, wax on in the clubby tongue of the rotunda, about property tax "reform." Roaring like lions, they trap mice (township government, state wide a 2% "problem" or $332M of $15.3B), while avoiding the difficult, brave work, of herding elephants (Indiana's excessive bond debt). Best figures available (LSA & DLGF updates welcome!), indicate that Indiana's bond debt is something like $21.6B and GROWING; a statewide problem, 65 times greater than that of township government... meow.
Add 17 floors to the tallest building in Indianapolis, the 48 story Chase Tower, to create a structure that is 65 stories tall. Imagine this 65 story version of the Chase Tower, standing next to a single story White Castle, and you'll get the idea (comparison). Unless you're crave impaired by a slider fixation, you'll notice the tallish building. So, what's with the phantom appetite for township government, when Indiana's bond debt is a problem sixty-five times its size? The answer is special interest. Welcome to the state capitol of Myopolis, where special interests trump general welfare. How do you eat an elephant anyway?
In the absence of good faith or appropriate disclosure by the STATE of Indiana (ahoy staties, let's see some numbers); we'll dart throw an estimate of $21.6B, in total bond indebtedness; assuming, ¢30 of each property tax dollar committed to bond debt is multiplied, by the annual PT collection of ~$6B, and then by a factor of 12 (economist's estimate of the blended rate and terms of total current bonds, again, in the absence of any disclosure by the STATE). Let's be clear, Indiana's excessive bond indebtedness is an undisclosed, perpetual, unspecified lien (ain't that term oxymoronic) on private property; which is unconstitutional. The purpose of law is clarity, not obscurity. The Constitution is every American's document; written as such, and not the loopholed refuge of lawyers who fail to hear their higher calling.
Nationally, the President and Congress are busting a speedy move to avoid election woes, 'er recession (two or more consecutive quarters of negative growth in GDP). One economist, a true friend of the citizen, and reasoned proponent of repeal, estimates the current quarter (Q-1 of 2008, factored for a margin of error), will range between negative growth of 1.3%, to barely but hopefully positive growth of .1%. While folks in D.C. scurry to "package" the appearance of a solution (sound familiar?), they ignore the historic, tried and true solution of cutting marginal tax rates, a la JFK / Johnson / Reagan. In the beltway, the pulse of flashing barricades is routinely confused with club strobe; a place where principled proaction is traded away and devalued, in exchange for political reaction, dancing to the tunes of special interests. Rather than address the problem, our economist friend explained, "They're [D.C.] going to drop cash from helicopters on the American people." Symbolism over substance, sound familiar? Government continues to insist on problem making with the excuse of "having an answer," when the real answer is government getting out of the way, not acting as a free market barricade.
As a citizen, it's difficult to understand or accept, the profound disconnect between Hoosiers and their government. It was detachment on display at the State of The State Address (Tues, 1/15); as some legislators leaving the chamber, felt obliged to make comments in paternal tones, to the 200+ supporters of repeal, assembled outside the chamber. "You don't want to pay for anything," mischaracterized one legislator (never minding that it's citizens who pay for everything). Citizens assembled that evening with a simple purpose; to be heard on the issue of repeal, and insist that it get a fair hearing on floor of both houses. The failure of this legislature, to allow open discussion and a vote on the floor of both houses, is the absolute denial of free speech.
Yet another legislator refused to give his name or clarify several comments that he made; specifically his suggestion to this observer that he was from the "other side of the aisle" (vs. those unwashed, assembled outside the chamber door). As he continued, his party affiliation became apparent and I stopped my less than ten second, quick count, at 6-7-8, members of "his" party, within direct view and our assembled ranks; realizing that he and his colleagues are completely unaware, that the repeal movement is omnipartisan. His unwitting arrogance and disconnectedness were suddenly familiar, in a November 2007, east end of Market Street, sort of way.
Add to these episodes, the Senate Republican caucus' recent denial of free speech and representative government, to all Hoosiers; by their abandonment of SJR8 (Thur, 1/17), the bill for repeal, killed by their decision to study it to death, in a "summer study." How many more years of summer study are required, before these folks GRADUATE?!? How many summers have these same Senators spent, studying the plan (HB1001) which was created last year and just passed in the Indiana house? Which, if any, elimination plans did those Senators truly study during the same period? Doesn't the elimination idea go back several years (Indiana Farm Bureau, etc.)? There's a profound sincerity deficit here.
Indiana's beloved, former Governor, Otis "Doc" Bowen, wrote a recent editorial, "Time for action is now." Doc explains that "visible, lasting and substantial" property tax relief was a primary goal of his first year in office (1973), in a similar environment of rapid tax increases and runaway spending. While his editorial is an endorsement of House Bill 1001; the very architect of Doc Bowen's property tax relief plan, the guy with the numbers, was Dr. Bill Styring; a well credentialed economist (see utube feature on this website) who tells us that the only rational solution to the property tax problem, is total elimination, everything else, he says, is a "radical idea." Exactly what's going on here is hard to say (Gubernatorial etiquette, an editorial written by a fine man to calm the fears of seniors facing homelessness, or?). Remember however, that until very recently, and for a very long time (like last fall, after the State Fair and before the election); Farm Bureau Co-op (that's right they had an entire booth at the State Fair devoted to the ELIMINATION of property tax, but don't worry their members are also confused), held a position firmly in favor of REPEAL. So much change in such a short period of time reminds us that change is indeed the true constant.
Asking our representatives to exhibit the courage of their convictions and expose them to open process (floor discussions and votes on the repeal issue, in both houses) is not too much to ask. It's the right thing for them to do and the conscious (in touch) among them know it.
Friday, January 25, 2008
Governor Daniels Mistake of the State Address did not cater to ‘repeal’ of property taxes. His few references to it elsewhere in other forums indicated he sympathized with repeal advocates who he claimed had their heart in the right place. Lawmakers have indicated openly they did not push it, because it was not part of the Governor’s reform package, and they were not about to take the lead unless they followed the Governor’s endorsement.
THE CHRONOLOGY OF EVENTS:
January 15 - Citizens repeatedly shouted “Repeal” to Daniels while entering the Statehouse room
January 16 - Daniels defended his original plan and mentioned repeal was a nice idea but not now.
January 24 - Speaking at the Southern Indiana Realtors Association in hard hit Jeffersonville, In., the Louisville Courier-Journal quotes Daniels: “I am in favor of repealing property taxes”, “If a bill comes to me, I’d sign it”.
Yet Daniels never pushed his philosophy, never wove it into his reform package as a principle ingredient and never encouraged lawmakers to devise a workable plan with that goal in mind. The simple caps he proposed may be constitutionally challenged and begs the question that if going for a Constitutional amendment, why settle for Constitutional caps instead of permanent repeal if he truly believes in repeal. Why not become of leader of repeal and make a way for it to happen? That’s what the CEO of our State is required to do; be a leader and fight for the convictions he believes in.
Is it possible that after his unhappy public welcome at the Statehouse, the disapproval of revolting Hoosiers gathered at the Statehouse Taxing Time broadcasted live to hundreds of thousands of citizens, that lip service is the only thing left to boost his sagging popularity in an election year? This transparency will be left up to the voters in November.
Posted by M Theory at Friday, January 25, 2008
Calling all FairTaxers!
April 15th is right around the corner and the Internal Revenue Service is taking aim once more on America 's working class and small business owners. We individual FairTaxers have another opportunity to get our message out into the public forums on a national scale.
The National Fair Tax Freedom Rally will be held in Nashville , Tennessee , on the Saturday prior to the April 15th deadline. This event is not put on by the Americans For Fair Taxation group in Houston , TX . They have their hands full with the Presidential election focus, so this is an independent grassroots event!
The AFFT staff and volunteers are certainly invited and encouraged to come and join in as honored guests. Also, we will be inviting any and all candidates for Washington's governmental offices, including incumbents, to attend and tell us why they do or do not support the bills HR25 and S1025 in Congress. Maybe one of them have what they think is a better plan; we want to hear that as well!
The date of the event is Saturday, April 12, 2008, at Riverside Park located near the State Capitol Building . There are other events going on in the city the same day, so plan to have some fun while you are visiting.
If you would like to learn more about FairTax, you might want to check out this website:
Posted by M Theory at Friday, January 25, 2008
Thursday, January 24, 2008
As I sat among 150 residents at the ‘Taxing Time’ event held inside the Indianapolis Statehouse House chamber Wednesday night, I tried to be a neutral observer. Just to double check my reality that I was not in Hell instead of Indiana, I later replayed the hour event found on WTHR’s web page. Yep, it was real. Despite the outside freezing temperatures, the inside was simmering with irate property owners of homes, businesses, and farms; many who told horror stories of their past and present plight.
A veteran, Kent Morgan, sitting in front of me spoke of his fixed income and fear of loosing his home. To my left, Dave Hendricks from Hamilton County spoke of eviction from his seized home by a prosecutor over his failure to pay steep property taxes. In fact, from the floor to the balcony, the panel of 4 lawmakers drew harsh criticism from citizens who had jeers for legislators and cheers for repeal. The crowd with frequent boos and outbursts wasn’t buying the same status quo remarks heard for months. For citizens already drowning, it was little comfort to be told our leaders still were trying to design a lifejacket. Residents’ shouts of repeal and stop spending periodically echoed, leaving no doubt that property owners are fed up with being taxed out of their homes and want action; not words.
As I emerged from the Chamber of Horrors, disgusted business, farm, and homeowners, some of whom traveled miles for the event, were still boiling from lack of answers to valid questions, and their plight remains unsolved. Who can blame them? The lawmakers on the panel represented the cast of characters who have presided over an abusive system, and it will take more than tweeking to fix it. Few knew that only the night before, the Senate Rules Committee had killed the repeal bill.
Posted by M Theory at Thursday, January 24, 2008
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
1. Incumbents on the Washington Township School Board flee!
All three incumbents on the Washington Township School Board are NOT running again for School Board in the May, 2008 elections!
2. Very few people want to run on the PRO-TAX Parents Council Slate!
The Parent Council of Washington Township, the PRO-TAX supporters of the $183 million Strategic Plan which includes NO educational benefit, has had their slating meetings on Jan 16 and 17. Cid McNeilly, Chairman of their Slating Committee, is “mortified” that they only have two candidates to run for the three open slots on the School Board. She is still searching and trying to recruiting a third candidate.
By the way, Cid McNeilly is an architect. Her architect-husband works for CSO, the architectural firm who designed the $183 million Strategic Plan that the current school board endorsed at their Dec 12 meeting. By the way, the "S" in CSO is gubernatorial candidate Jim Schellinger, who builds school buildings for a plush living.
3. One PRO-TAX Parent Council Candidate could have a conflict of interest!
Is one slated candidate a PAID Staff Member, Head of the Team Parenting Program? Is this is a conflict of interest, or what? Is this slated candidate an act of desperation by the PRO-TAX Parent Council?
Greg Wright, the lone fiscal conservative on the Washington Township School Board and Penny Bigelow (chair of taxpayer advocacy group) will appear on the Abdul show tomorrow, Thursday at 8 am. AM1430 WXNT
They are slotted for one hour, so there should be time for different topics such as:
Wash Twp schools and their $183 million building program
The referendum on school projects (which was just cut down in the Senate yesterday to only non-educational projects such as athletic fields and swimming pools!)
Citizens For Education and our first general meeting on Jan 31, 7 pm at Pleasant View Lutheran Church, 73rd and Hoover
Call for candidates to run for the school board and be slated by Citizens For Education
Please listen in and call in, if you wish. Abdul's show number is 317.228.1430.
Hundreds of Thousands of Hoosiers were assassinated last night by 12 Senators who claimed they had reservations about SJR 8 known as the repeal of property taxes bill. Claiming lawmakers spent a whole 5 ½ hours studying the matter, they remained with unanswered questions as to all of its consequences and voted 12-0 to kill it, dashing hopes for all Hoosiers jeopardized with overburdened property taxes with a failed and broken system that needs a desperate overhaul.
Room 431 was the crime scene as citizens took up every seat and the remainder watched on the monitor outside the closed doors. A statehouse officer came into the room and removed signs of “Let us Vote” from citizens’ hands. No one was smiling and most Senators’ heads looked downward with few eye contacts with the public. How could they. They knew what they were about to do exposed their moral and economic failure. A funeral was about to take place, delegated by a caucus not open to the public. But these 12 Senators became the executioners, who with open self-gratulatory comments and praise for each other about their funeral preparation for Hoosiers, then pressed a button to nuke their employers; the citizens of Indiana. Never mind if they had years to fix the escalating problem. Never mind if the studies during last summer to the present were not in their crosshairs. Never mind if citizens complained about lawmaker’s preoccupation with lobbyists’ demands from schools and unions. And never mind if they skate around Constitutional issues by hiding behind every dark loophole and procedural tactic, reminiscent of the City County lockout this past summer. For lawmakers, citizens were a crying nuisance that attracted notice to status quo and incompetent politics, so they killed them.
Media, including the Chicago Tribune, arrived to watch the spectacle of what ugliness reared its head within Indiana. As if to comfort Hoosiers, Senate Bill 100 was invented to study taxation restricted to homestead property only. If passed, this summer study would be required to offer its proposals for the 2009 legislature, conveniently after the November, 2008 election.
Fuming citizens picked up their previously confiscated signs outside the door and held their own caucus, determined that total Repeal can eventually be the Lazarus for citizens to come forth from their grave to live a less oppressed life.
Totally missed by lawmakers is not just the remedy to fix economic problems, but the moral imperative for Hoosiers to own permanently their property without fear of confiscation from the State’s annual eviction notice for failure to pay a ransom note into a broken system. No sugar-coated pill is going to pacify Hoosiers who will make November an interesting election with incumbents on a flush list.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
The Journal Gazette in Ft. Wayne offers us an excellent editorial on ethics (actually lack thereof) in the Statehouse. This editorial is a MUST read.
Here are the ethics bills currently being shunned by Indiana's greedy lawmakers. We like HB 1063.
Senate Bill 59: Reduces from $100 to $25 the minimum reportable amount for total daily gifts to a legislator or a legislative employee given by a registered lobbyist or a single gift received by a legislator or legislative candidate.
Senate Bill 165: Provides that an individual who has served as a member of the General Assembly may not register as a legislative branch lobbyist during the period that ends one year after the date the legislator leaves.
House Bill 1063: Provides that a member of the General Assembly, a candidate for a legislative office, an officer or employee of the General Assembly or a member of the immediate family of any of those individuals may not accept a gift from a lobbyist. Provides that a lobbyist may not give a gift to any of these persons. Provides that violations of any of the prohibitions on giving or accepting gifts is a Class B misdemeanor. Provides that an individual who has served as a member of the General Assembly may not register as a legislative branch lobbyist during the period that ends two years after the date that the individual ceases to be a member.
Posted by M Theory at Tuesday, January 22, 2008
January 21, 2008
It is the work of journalists to protect America's citizens from tyranny by publishing facts thereby holding our lawmakers accountable to the rule of law. Unbiased journalism separates precious rule of law and freedom from tyranny. Overwhelmingly Hoosiers demand repeal of property tax, yet our politicians artfully maneuver to keep the status quo. Property tax "reform" is the shell game by which politicians stop taking from one pocket, only to dig into another instead.
The meat of the truth underlying the property tax crisis lies somewhere between the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the bond debt, and most sadly the failure of our elected officials to obey the rule of law to which they gave their oaths to defend.
More than ever Indiana's citizens need her journalists to defend help defend our property rights as given to us by our Constitution. Below are questions to which the People need answers. Do you have the courage to give Indiana's people the answers?
1. What percentage of our property tax dollars is used to illegally secure bond debt?2. Who authorized citizens' homes (property taxes) to be used as collateral (without consent) against the state's bond debt? Who is responsible for this oversight of the rule of law?
(Hint: it is many times greater than what is being spent on township government)
3. Which bond banks are writing loans that guarantee repayment with our property as collateral without signed disclosure documents?
4. How much money does the state have off budget according to the CAFR (Comprehensive Annual Financial Report)?
5. Where is our off budget money kept and how much interest does it draw?
6. Who prepared the CAFR in its current format?
7. Why was the format of the CAFR changed?
8. Why does the CAFR appear to be purposely prepared so that no one, not even economists, clearly understand it?
9. Why are our politicians are not obeying the Indiana Constitution (Article I, Section 22) which states: It is FORBIDDEN for the state to enact the seizure and sale of homes for payment of taxes. Article 8 states that taxes from only corporate property, not personal property, is to be used for public schools.
It is OUR government and it is OUR job to oversee it.
It is the job of an ethical press to be part of the checks and balances which defend our liberty. More than ever Indiana needs her journalists to push this issue and get to the bottom of the bond debt and the legality of using Hoosier homes without consent and against the tenants of the Indiana Constitution as loan collateral.
Posted by M Theory at Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Sunday, January 20, 2008
We just received this call for action from StopIndiana.com We need everyone at the State house again on Tuesday! Please duplicate this announcement to everyone on your lists.
Dear Fellow Hoosiers: It's time again, to rally and converge upon the Senate Rules Committee, scheduled to meet this Tuesday, in Room 431, to discuss SJR8 (link), at 5:30PM.
The word now is they'll vote to KILL repeal by studying it to death, in a summer "study" committee. If the committee moves forward with SJR8, as they KNOW citizens want them to do, they'll have four years (!!!) to study repeal and adopt one of several, viable replacement plans. If Republican Senators have killed SJR8 (and we hope that's not the case); how much more out of touch could these folks be?
The first major ramp in property taxes of 100% to 500% increases was nearly five years ago (yeah, it was 2003), during which time, an entire class of college freshman has graduated and some have earned graduate degrees. More time to study...? If these folks need more time to study it's time for them to drop out, just go, and get an early start on a summer committee of their recreational choice. Thanks, but we can't take any more of that style of public "service."
Abdul (Indianabarrister.com) is reporting that the Senate Republican Caucus voted 2-to-1 last Thursday (by a process CLOSED TO CITIZENS), against moving SJR8 to the Senate floor for an open vote. This latest misstep by Republicans is reminiscent of last year's, pre-election city council meetings in Indianapolis, where citizens were shut out- this citizen shutout is no different!
Committee members who deny citizens the right, to an open discussion and vote on the floor of the Senate, should be unelected in May or November. Members of the Rules Committee and other legislators, have openly acknowledged, that SJR8 would pass, if brought to the Senate floor for a vote. So, what does it mean if they choose to kill SJR8 by any means? Let's see, Senators, who routinely face election challenges, shrinking violets that they are, would vote for SJR8, because they're afraid not to, or, could it be they know, that it's what their CONSTITUENTS WANT THEM TO DO? Hint: Constituent is another word for employer.
We may well have a crop of legislators who are tired and don't care about reelection. But why should that become the citizens' problem? Indiana needs bold, proactive leadership; not mediocrity, by default of a limited range of special interest reflexes. Indiana can lead rather than follow, but that will take leadership.
Georgia House Speaker Glenn Richardson, is the champion of an elimination plan in his state's legislature called The Great Plan For Georgia developed in consultation with Economist Arthur Laffer. Some have suggested that because other states haven't eliminated property taxes, that it can't be done; never bothering themselves, to exercise a calculator and demonstrate their vast knowledge of "can't."
Several states, including South Carolina, Florida, Washington, Oregon and Vermont, also have repeal efforts underway. The day is coming when a citizen centered legislature will demonstrate that property taxes "can" be eliminated. Let's meet Tuesday evening (1/22, 5:30, Room 431), to review the state of our representation. Be sure to check this link for any "last minute" updates.
Citizen and blog rants: Now Superintendent Mervilde suddenly interested in blight of abandoned school
You may recall that we told you about the 20 year abandoned eyesore known as White River School and one of our activists reported on the recent press conference which showed the city the terrible condition of the property under Superintendent Mervilde's watch. Property we should remind you belongs to the people.
Now it seems Mervilde is trying to appear that he cares about the blight , but the reality is that he is on the hot seat and is really passing the buck. That asset and property still is not returned to the taxpayer and its condition has vastly deteriorited under Mervilde's watch. What is our asset worth now?
And yet Mervilde wants more of your money so that Washington Township's children don't become "victims" of property tax reform as he was recently quoted saying. What Mervilde really wants is to keep his fat paycheck, private bathroom in his office, and in the good graces of Schellinger and McNeilly of CSO Architects. Doncha think?
1. Too little, too late. “This week Mervilde told the school district's director of operations, Phil Smith, to have the trash removed from the site and 102 windows boarded up.”
2. Then he tries to put the blame on Indy Parks…"We believe it's the responsibility of Indy Parks," Mervilde said. "In 2004 we entered into an agreement with Indy Parks. . . . We are not pleased with the progress of that." He conveniently forgets the previous 10 to 20 years of zero action by MSDWT since the school was closed and abandoned.
3. “The cost of the cleanup has not been calculated, Mervilde said, and the district hopes to share the cost with the parks department.” Mervilde should have discussed this with the Parks Dept. before spending the money. Another case where he doesn’t think ahead on financial matters.
The MSDWT record of abandoned buildings is abominable. What is in store for Harcourt and Wyandotte and their neighborhoods?
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CITIZENS FOR EDUCATION
M. Penny Bigelow, Chair
Phone and fax: 317-876-0707
MSDWT SCHOOL BOARD CANDIDATES SOUGHT
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - January 17, 2008. The Citizens for Education are inviting candidates to apply for slating by the Citizens for Education for the May 2008 School Board Election for Washington Township/Indianapolis.
Candidates must have resided in the MSDWT school district for a period of one year.
Please call Penny Bigelow at 876-0707 to schedule an appointment. Deadline for applications is Jan.30, 2008.
Indianapolis axed by Grim Reaper.
Your final reconciliation property tax bill for 2007 is delayed til sometime in May, 1 month after we pay our April 15th Federal and State taxes. Even worse, the adjustment will be minimal. So what happens to the normal annual May installment- it's pushed to August! What happens to the normal November installment? Unknown!!
Marion Cty.Assessor cites 'a question of staffing and skills'. Really? Where have you been for the last year?
Cost to taxpayers for the governor ordered reassessments: $1.2 million*
Projected homeowner savings from reassessment: 5%*
*figures reported during August 2007 testimony from Greg Bowes and county assessors at CCC budget hearings
Here Andy Horning gets at the crux of the matter. Taxes are out of control not because of schools, police, fire safety, or roads. It is the bond debt.
Taxes are out of control because our lawmakers are not accountable to the rule of law. And the citizens have failed to properly parent rogue politicians and force accountability to the rule of law.
Taxes are out of control because of municipal loans are backed by the private property of citizens as collateral! This illegal act of theft was not disclosed to Indiana's property owners, nor did a single Indiana property owner co-sign a legal agreement for their property to be used to guarantee bond debts .
Who is at fault? The legislators or the bond banks for writing the illegal deals backed by our property? The politicians in office swore to uphold and defend our property and the constitution. Instead they ignored their oaths. and the law.
Why hasn't our media asked the state exactly how much of our property tax is used to to pay the interest on the bond debt? We promise you it is far more than township government costs the taxpayer. The number will be staggering.
by Andy Horning
"Article I, Section 22, of the Indiana Constitution forbids the seizure and sale of homes for payment of taxes. Article 8 taxes only corporate property, not personal property, for public schools. Actually, most of what Indiana government now does is clearly forbidden by both the Indiana and federal constitutions our politicians swear to uphold and defend."
So the bottom line is that we’ve worried enough about the methods and degrees of taxation. It’s time to wonder why we pay any taxes at all to our lawbreaking lawmakers.
Our money goes to mall developers and foreign corporations, yet we have to pay extra for our day in court. School taxes pay for sports stadiums and half-million-dollar-a-year college coaches, but not for books.
Our police don’t investigate property crimes anymore, yet they have time for speed traps and road blocks. They make parents drug their kids, yet they kick in your door if you don’t “Just Say No.” And your home or business will be taken from you if a campaign contributor wants it. All of this is unconstitutional, not just immoral.
So it’s frustrating to see how many of us have become convinced that abolishing the property tax would, by itself, solve anything. It would only make the other taxes worse, while filling the coffers of the dangerously corrupt.
The problem is that our government is ungoverned. We must either demand that politicians obey written laws as written, or quit whining about the anarchy we permit.
The scholarship is for the Campaign & Elections Politics Magazine annual seminar "The Art of Political Campaigning". The scholarship covers the registration fee, transportation to and from Washington, DC, hotel and some incidental travel expenses. It costs approximately $1500 to send each scholarship recipient to this Washington, D.C. program. Your gift to Atlas!Liberty will help send these outstanding Libertarians to Washington, D.C.
The four with ties to Indiana are:
Whitney Allen, Plainfield, Indiana. Senior business major at IUPUI. Hired by MTV as part of a special program the network is launching to cover politics through the 2008 presidential elections. Created web site for Libertarian Timothy Maguire for Indianapolis City-County Council At-Large in 2006.
Jaenelle Antas, Rochester, Minnesota, part-time employee with Libertarian Party of Indiana. Full-time student at IUPUI in Indianapolis. Plans to attend law school in Wisconsin. Volunteer co-coordinator Timothy Maguire for Council 2007.
Allison Maguire, Indianapolis, Indiana, administrative assistant, candidate for Libertarian office, At-Large City Council in 2007, key volunteer for Timothy Maguire campaign.
Timothy Maguire, Indianapolis, Indiana, financial planner and small business owner, candidate for Libertarian office, including At-Large City Council in 2007. His visible campaign was noticed in the Indianapolis community, and his vote totals more than doubled the party's municipal achievements from four years ago.
Last year, Atlas!Liberty sent Andy Wolf, the chair of the LaPorte County Libertarian Party, and Mark W. Rutherford, Immediate Past State Chairman of the Libertarian Party of Indiana, to this program.
Recently educrat, James Mervilde (Washington Township Schools Superintendent) was interviewed by the Indianapolis Star. In the interview he attemps to make readers believe that it is necessary to increase their property tax dollars to cover EDUCATION or else their children will become "victims" of tax reform!
Missing from the article are interviews from the other side of the argument....namely the tax payers and the persons with the inside knowledge of how Washington Township's School Board racket is set up.
We know that property tax reforms are not going to make victims of Indiana's children, but we thought we should give you some insight so that you can connect the dots for yourself. Today we introduce you to Mrs. Cid McNeilly.
For at least the past eight years, CSO Architects, Inc. has helped Washington Township’s school board spend millions of dollars of taxpayer money. CSO has received plenty of help from Cid McNeilly.
Please start to connect the dots yourself:
A valuable property on Allisonville Road near Castleton Square Shopping Center was sold by the Washington Township Schools and the proceeds were used to help finance the construction of the Superintendent’s current offices. Then school board member and architect, Cid McNeilly, supported the measure. Her husband’s firm, CSO Architects, did the work. CSO helped sweeten the deal by discretely designing a private restroom in the superintendent’s office. Locals refer to the opulent building, completed in 2000, as the Taj Mahal.
Fact: Mrs. McNeilly was President of the Washington Township school board when she personally negotiated and signed the employment contract with current Superintendent, Jim Mervilde.
Fact: Mrs. McNeilly and Superintendent Mevilde appeared before the School Property Tax control Board a few weeks later on February 16, 2006 and asked for approval of a $50 million bond issue for Facilities Improvements. Page 13 of the report states, “All educational facilities rate good to excellent”, and ”(requested) HVAC and roof projects will increase education facilities with good ratings to excellent ratings.” CSO's president, Jim Schellinger, was shown on page 28 of their presentation as the Architectural Advisor.
Phase I of the Facilities Improvement project was for $20 million and included the famous $14 million swimming pool and $1.5 million for artificial turf on the athletic field.
Fact: Superintendent Mervilde submitted a report to the school board On October 22, 2007: “Current Condition of Facilities and Future Facility Needs”. This report was prepared by CSO Architects at the request of Mervilde. He often refers to CSO Architects and Skillman Corp., a contractor, as his “professional partners.” Many of the meetings leading up to the report included teachers, parents and members of the community and were held at CSO Architects headquarters. Based on this specific report, Mervilde’s own Strategic Plan requested $150 to $200 million to rebuild or replace most of the district’s elementary and middle schools.
Fact: The October 22, 1007 IBJ article by Tracy Donhard, “District tests anti-tax mood” noted the inconsistency between the Feb. 16, 2006 Facility Improvement report and the Mervilde Strategic Plan.
The 2006 report to the Tax Board stated essentially that the facilities were “good to excellent” and – just 18 months later – the Strategic Plan said that he needed $200 million to repair the facilities. According to the IBJ, “Mervilde said work done on that study was flawed.” He was asked in the Dec. 12, 2007 school board meeting to clear up the matter; however, he did not answer the question.
Fact: The Dec. 12, 2007 school board gave approval for Phase II of the Facilities Improvement project remaining $30 million which includes a $2.1 million stand-alone locker room. You might recall that this plan was described as “flawed” by Mervilde.
Fact: The Dec. 12, 2007 school board gave approval to proceed to implement the $150 to $200 million Strategic Plan construction projects. The same architect, CSO Architects, was used even though the earlier work was described as “flawed.”
Fact: Following her board presidency, architect Cid McNeilly has continued to be very active with school parent groups, and meets regularly with Superintendent Mervilde.
Very few school board members of the Washington Township school board have NOT been endorsed by Parent Council officers. Four of the five current school board members were endorsed by the Parent Council.
Only rarely is anyone elected to the school board without its endorsement. Most insiders believe that its officers are the “shadow” school board and where the real power lies.
Fact: Architect Mrs. McNeilly, currently is Chairman of the Parent Council school board candidate selection committee. She personally interviewed its May 2008 candidate slate, and remains in a very important position to help influence the board approved $200 million new construction at Washington Township.
Will Cid McNeilly help perpetuate the selection of its “architect of choice” to remain Jim Schellinger’s firm?
Connect the dots.
It was a family afternoon open Luau despite 20 degree weather that saw many Hoosiers greeted by newly elected Mayor Ballard of Indianapolis. Plenty of hot food, games for children, and stage entertainment Hawaiian style with neck lays and drums went non stop from 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm. at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Pavillion. A waiting line for Hoosier well-wishers remained constant for those wanting photo-opts, offer their hopes, and wish he and his wife Winnie and children their support. Not a politician but a man of the people, this Marine made himself unselfishly available and was not the time for speechmaking or political rhetoric.
Tax Repeal Activists, new City Council members, the Mayor’s newly appointed team, and neighborhood associations together with grass roots supporters agreed it was a new chapter in Indy’s life. Among those:
Dave Bond-‘StopIndiana.com (Stop taxing our property)
Kent Smith- Vice President of City County Council
Greg Wilson- Director Minority affairs
Ryan Vaughn- City County Council
Tim and Allison Maguire, both recent recipients of Libertarian Scholarships to Washington DC.
Caroline Farrar, director of Meridian Kessler Neighborhood Association
Penny Bigelow of Washington Township.
Chris Spangler of Radio
Bob Grey, Republican supporter
Ken Morgan, Founder and Chairman of the Indiana Voters League
Laura Chastain, tax repeal activist.
Patriot Paul with Hoosiers for Fair Taxation
Joanna Franklin, Secretary, Crooked Creek Community Council
Jeffrey Cardella, Deputy Public Defender
Melyssa made honorable mention on Howey's 2008 Top 50 list of political influencer. Here's what The Howey Political Report, a subscription based periodical said about her work: " The Peterson administration cracked down on her home based Central Avenue dominatrix business. She channeled her anger into the earliest stages of the tax revolt last June - she organized the first demonstrations at the Governor’s Residence and Monument Circle in July. She’s our citizen activist of the year.
ALERT – ALERT - ALERT !
Senator Long will hold a meeting of his Senate Rules Committee on Tuesday, 1/22/08 at 5:30 pm. The purpose is to take a vote to send SJR 8 to a ‘summer study committee’, i.e., to kill repeal for this session.
Why? To buy the cowards time of course. The reality is that the longer they can put this off before the election, the better their chances of re-election and the better their chances are that the People will get tired and go away.
We have news for the legislators: WE ARE NOT GOING AWAY!
We all need to be there to express our opinions to the Committee on this killer move by Long/Daniels/Kenley/Bauer.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
With the recent sentencing of corrupt city councilors in Lake County, you would think that someone here in the media would be looking further into the shredding of the citizens' documents that was carried out non-stop by Bart Peterson's administration during the week before Mayor Ballard took over.
On a previous blog entry, we asked a lot of questions. We're not the only ones that want further investigation. The folks over at Indy Tax Dollars are also irritated that no further investigation seems to be underway.
Rumor has it that bushels of documents were copied and slipped out of City Hall during Bart's administration by insiders who are taxpayer advocates and that the documents are stashed away somewhere safe in the city.
Over at Digital Farmers blog, it is reported that an unnamed local blogger was recently contacted by the FBI wanting information regarding circumvention of federal laws. Could that be a blog exposing corruption by Marion county public officials?
Will the dirty politics on the taxpayer dime never end?
Here's a party anyone can attend who supports Mayor Ballard's efforts to turn our city around.
Mayor Ballard's Community Luau
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Join Mayor Greg Ballard and Winnie for his welcoming Luau open house and party for the Greater Indianapolis community. Bring the entire family! There will be food, music, children's activities, and lots of fun for everyone. And who doesn't appreciate a hint of the tropics in Indiana in January?
The Pavilion at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The Pavilion is located just behind the Pagoda in the Infield.
Enter at the Main Gate off 16th Street (Gate 2) towards the IMS Museum and follow the signs.
Guests are asked to bring a $5.00 donation, to benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Indianapolis
or a canned food item to benefit Gleaners Food Bank.
We are grateful for the person behind Indy Tax Dollars who wrote this analysis after reading the city's Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.
Quick questions - Part II
December 31, 2007
Here are two more items from the city's Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (Dec. 2005) which we recommend to the attention of the new mayor's transition team.
First, under the general heading of "Notes to Financial Statements" on page 49, the following paragraph appears as a footnote to "Section A. Lessee Arrangements."
"The City entered into an agreement with the Marion County Convention and Recreational Facility Authority (MCCRFA) to lease a portion of land located at the airport over a 25-year term expiring in 2016. This land was being used for a major aircraft maintenance and overhaul center for United Airlines, Inc. ("United") prior to United's bankruptcy filing in 2003. The lease requires the City to make annual payments equal to the MCCRFA's debt service requirements." (Our emphasis.)
We presume the dollar amount required of the city is specified at some other point in the pages and pages of numbers making up this full report. More important, it seems to us, is the question as to why a "Convention and Recreational Facility Authority" owns land involved in the UAL fiasco at the airport. We pointed out a few days ago that this agency was created to provide certain financing for projects of the CIB. Governmental bodies linkage designed to obscure who owes how much and to what purpose?
Second, with the same general heading, but under "Section C. Other Financing Transactions," we find this wording on page 50.
"Circle Centre Mall "
In January 1994, the City entered into a long-term operating lease with Circle Centre Development Company, an Indiana general partnership. The lease extends through December 2027 and provides for seven options to extend the term for 10 years. No rental payments are due under the lease." (Our emphasis.)
We plead ignorance here. The land under the mall is owned principally by the city and is therefore not on the assessment rolls at all. The improvements are the responsibility of the owners/tenants and are supposed to be taxable. Since the land is not taxable, it is our understanding that the city was to receive revenue in lieu of taxes through leases of the land.
If this is the case, then one tends to be curious about what is being leased and why a lease would be required where no payments are to be made. Most importantly, does the lease affect city revenues?
Once again, we're just pointing to some of the rocks that the new mayor might want to turn over as he attempts to determine exactly what he has gotten himself into.
We hear rumors often of a federal investigation here in Indianapolis of our own crop of immoral government thieves. Justice was served in Gary with stiff sentences given to two of their city councilors and a Gary attorney. Let's hope the feds are looking into the dirty water deal that Bart and Burt hatched behind closed doors. We also hope they are looking closely at Monroe Gray and Aaron Haith, our local duo of corruption. Below is news of the sentences handed down by U.S. District Court Judge Philip Simon blogged by our friends at Team Hammond Taxpayers' Group in Lake county. BRAVO FEDS, BRAVO!
Willie Harris, former Gary attorney, was sentenced to 55 months in prison, nearly the maximum sentenced recommended. Harris, along with former County Councilman Will Smith, Jr. and Roosevelt Powell, was convicted last September of tax fraud and skimming $50,000 from the profits of a secret real estate deal between the corrupt Gary Urban Enterprise Association and the Gary Historical and Cultural Society.
U.S. District Court Judge Philip Simon handed down the stiff sentence. Judge Simon ruled Harris not only betrayed the legal profession, but he also betrayed the Lake County taxpayers. Harris will serve out his sentence at the federal work camp in Oxford, Wisconsin.
Last week, former Lake County tax collector, Roosevelt Powell, received a sentence of 37 months. Will Smith Jr. will be sentenced on January 18. Given the fact that Smith was not only a county councilman but council president as well, it is very possible that Judge Simon will also impose a harsh sentence on Smith. If he does, may it serve as a reminder and a deterrent to all elected officials in Lake County that this kind of unlawful behavior will NO longer be tolerated.
Governor Daniels has pulled the rug from Legislators who used a ‘short session’ as an excuse for wanting to go home early and for not finding a permanent solution to the property tax crisis. By telling them to look harder until they get it right begs the question that what is right must then be moral, and that is the crux that both Daniels and Legislators don’t want to address. Putting Humpty Dumpty back together again by interchanging arms, legs, and broken back will not make him walk upright with head held high. It forces a cripple to remain a cripple in a perpetual wheelchair, bound by a patchwork quilt sewn from the 1800s that now embraces Hoosiers like a straight jacket.
Like other states founded in a relatively short time, Indiana built itself with structures to protect citizens from governmental abuse, yet had to provide protections from tyranny. Raising taxes through property to support that became a part of the Indiana Constitution.
If Daniels wants a Constitutional amendment, why offer a cap or reduction onto an already broken system based on old agrarian colonial day methods that will force us to address the issue again in a few years. Indiana has awakened into a manufacturing age and is stepping into a technological and service oriented economy.
Compounding this is the fact that we have legislators who are completely out of their element and follow in lockstep partisanship that offers lip service and excuses for their inaction. Hearings offered to the public have been manipulated with Legislators’ and lobbyiests’grandstanding speeches in Indianapolis, South Bend, and Evansville, with citizens’ horror stories and suggestions minimized by time constraints or discounted by legislators’ counterproductive predisposition to hear but not listen. Referring to elimination:
Speaker Pat Bauer: “There’s always people who want to shoot for Pluto but Pluto doesn’t exist anymore. We need to do what we can do here on earth.” (Kevin Rader, Eyewitness news 13 Indy)
Sen. David Long: “To try and do it in this session-I think it’s not only not a good idea, but really might do harm to the Indiana economy.” (Channel 6)
Gov.Daniels: Supports the ‘spirit’ of elimination but impractical (Evansville Courier press). “The question has to be:’ What can the taxpayer afford?’”(Star news 1-17).
The wrong questions are being asked by leaders operating within a failed system and who will kick Humpty Dumpty down the road for another generation to address unless an awakening citizenship tells them they have no excuses left and that intellectual dishonesty is transparent for all voters to see. The crux is the moral issue. What plan eliminates the annual threat of families being evicted from homes, farms or businesses for failure to annyup a tribute to keep what they already own? There is no plan except elimination, the numbers are there, and two independent statewide polls favor the majority of Hoosiers wanting this grotesque system put into the shredder. Set the wheels in motion to amend the Constitution once and for all applicable to the 21st century, be a part of history, and never look back at a system that is not fixable.
Property owners in cities near the Ohio River travelled by caravan to Indianapolis for the Governor's address on Tuesday. Louisville's Channel 3 interviewed members of the caravan as they were setting out to leave for Indianapolis.
We cannot thank them enough for their participation. We know that many took time away from work, family, and other obligations to do their civic duty and tell our legislators loud and clear that WE ARE NOT GOING AWAY and WE WANT TO VOTE ON REPEAL.
Indiana's embarassing tax crisis and fiscal mismanagement has been on national radar since last summer. Yesterday the Chicago Tribune picked up the Associated Press coverage of Tuesday's rally.
At least we are being heard by the media. Too bad many of our legislators are not yet listening. We are sure they will hear us on election day.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Property taxes spooked consumers: caused loss of 50 jobs from closing of 3rd generation Indy business
Consumer qualms about property taxes and a lingering bad rap about the quality of American cars has prompted the owners of Bud Wolf Chevrolet to close the doors. President Andy Wolf told the 50 employees of the decision Monday. The service operation closed immediately, and about 200 new and used vehicles remain to be sold.
"With the business and the overhead, I felt this was the time to do it," Wolf said. Wolf is the third generation involved in the car business. His grandfather, Isaac "Ike" Wolf, started selling auto parts in 1913. Ike's son and Andy Wolf's father, Myron "Bud" Wolf, started selling used cars at 2701 E. Washington Street, then landed the Chevrolet dealership in 1972 and moved to 1045 Broad Ripple Ave.
Bud Wolf Chevrolet is now at 5350 N. Keystone Ave.Bud Wolf turns 90 next month and still discusses the business but isn't active in it, Andy Wolf said.
The dealership struggled to get customers in the door because of what Andy Wolf said was an undeserved poor reputation about American cars. Then the surge in property taxes last summer spooked some customers to the extent they were unwilling to spend money even on maintaining their cars. The Wolf family owns the five-acre site of the dealership and would like to redevelop it, Andy Wolf said.
‘MISTAKE OF THE STATE’
Property Tax Repeal Advocates descended on Indiana’s Statehouse only to receive a rude awakening that the word ‘Repeal’ is extinct in the vocabularies of both the Governor and many lawmakers. While applauding the noble desire to downsize government to become efficient and less costly, his 9 calls for legislators to become brave in a critical time underscores his attitude toward them as fraidy cats all too beholden to the politics of special interest instead of to Hoosiers. The Governor was no less helpful for repeal and refused to take the lead to repeal a grotesque reality that can, and would, permit the State to threaten homeowners, farmers, and businesses into eviction for failing to pay into an unfair and still broken system. And this he calls a PERMANENT fix?
Roughly 200 Repeal Activists, representing various groups from around the State felt the Governor needed as much Metamucil as he tried to give lawmakers for permanent fiber, should these pussycats need the backbone he thinks they require. Claiming his heart was with the people, this Governor-Shape shifter spun his shell game as the biggest tax break in Indiana history. Signs and repeated chants of “Repeal” resounded through the Statehouse from the 3rd floor to the entrance, according to latecomers. Yes, he and the legislators heard the public, despite every poll indicating the majority of statewide Hoosiers want this immorality abolished.
Protestors are left with 2 things: their voice and their vote. Given the volume of media interviews, the war of prehistoric property tax perpetrated by Indiana politicians upon homes, farms, and businesses, prompts ever increasing unhappy crowds as Hoosiers tire of the ball and chains. Once the reality check kicks in for Hoosiers, the Governor’s speech will be viewed as the biggest ‘Mistake of the State address’ in modern memory. Forced retirement is on the horizon for incumbents who left their Metamucil at home. Word to lawmakers: never leave home without it.
While our Governor tries to placate us by saying "our hearts are in the right place", we don't understand why he continues to tell Hoosiers that there are no workable plans to eliminate property tax. Yesterday the Evansville Courier Press had this to say about the vast number of workable property tax elimination plans.
Governor Daniels, We are worth the effort to find a way to cut spending, reform our 19th century government and repeal property tax! Let's set an example here in Indiana for the rest of the nation to follow!
p.s. We know it is the bond debt, not essential services, that caused this mess. We support your motion to make capital spending projects subject to referendum.
We received this message today from Dave Bond and our friends over at StopIndiana.com about bond indebtedness.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Indiana State House, State of the State Address
See for yourself, check these numbers!
Subject: Diversions, distractions and WASTED TIME
Some legislators are complaining that their time is being wasted trapping mice (township govt.) rather than herding elephants (excessive, unconstitutional bond debt).
Department of Local Government & Finance (DLGF) numbers for 2005 show that of the total $15.3 billion allocated and budgeted for local government statewide, only 2.17% were attributable to townships or $332M. This is the area of government spending that now consumes and many say diverts attention from the state's real spending problem which is it's bond indebtedness.
In the state's capitol (Marion County), only 3.5% of the county's total budget is attributable to the total fixed or operating costs for all township governments or taxing units. While it may be a good idea, a 20% savings through consolidation would yield .7% savings; more mouse trapping than elephant herding.
So where are the elephants? The elephants are Indiana's out of control bond indebtedness that some predict has grown by 500% during the last five years. Look at the state's bond debt and you'll notice the elephants, currently herded by a curious coalition of lobbyists: educrats, Chamber of Commerce, Manufacturers, Farm Bureau and bond manufacturers (niche law, niche development, etc.)