"The Official Portrait of Miss InDiana"

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

Friday, February 27, 2009

Governor to call tax rally on March 10th? Property tax caps are not the answer.

The Governor must feel tremendous trouble is ahead, if indeed he is calling for a tax rally to put pressure on the legislators to pass the tax caps.

There is a persistent rumor today, that I am inclined to believe, the governor's office contacted tax activist groups statewide to plead with them to come to a state house rally at 11:30 am on March 10th. State leadership is in a panic because they cannot get enough momentum in the house to approve the property tax caps legislation.

Minority Leader, Brian Bosma's pleas for a state house taxpayer rally started a couple weeks ago. Maybe that's who gave Governor Daniels the idea.

Problem is that the tax caps are not the permanent, long reaching relief we were promised.

The problem with caps lies in the fact that our homes are still subject to a subjective assessment of value, for which the property owner has no control. We know from the thousands of homeowner appeals piled up and still unresolved from two years ago, that the property tax system in Indiana is terribly broken. It's bad policy to continue forcing Hoosiers to bend under this terribly unfair and broken system of assessment.

Further complicating the problem of caps is the fact if levies aren't high enough in individual taxing districts, they can still raise our property tax to cover spending.

And finally, why should landlords and farmers have to pay higher taxes? The cost of higher taxes would then be passed down to tenants, who will ultimately pay higher rent, therefore making it harder for them to save for homeownership. The farmers and businesses will have no choice but to embed the cost of higher taxes in the goods they sell.

Other ideas have been presented, including solid plans for repeal. Indiana has 150 other fees and taxes which are transparent.

The truth of this problem is that government officials do not want our taxation to be all that transparent. Not only that, but they use your property as collateral each time they have to go to the bond bank to borrow for their out-of-control spending habits. They like our current system because it is covert and complex. Let's them get it over on us better.

I commend the Governor for the work he does, and God knows his job is hard. However, if he really wants to have a huge show at the rally on March 10th (by people he doesn't have to pay to be there), then he needs slash our state budget and make the state's bill this year smaller than last year's bill. Deflation should help. All we've seen so far are bigger numbers than last year.

That's not going to solve anything.


Sean Shepard said...

Since there is belief, and I think they may be correct, especially given the economic downturn that an immediate cessation of property taxes is not possible, why not a 'phase out' ??

For example. They are looking at the 3-2-1 plan now. Why not something like:

2010 3, 2, 1
2011 2, 1, 0
2012 1, 0, 0
2013 0, 0, 0

Obviously, this is more complicated but I'm sure something could be figured out. Counties could have the option to increase their sales tax or something to compensate.

Whatever is used to replace the revenue should be based on use fees and consumption and definitely not income. This would preserve Indiana's (more favorable than most) tax slant towards consumption instead of production.

Revenue replacement could take many forms but keep in mind we save a ton of money just from not having to assess and collect the property tax any longer. Keep spending reigned in and that helps. There could even be a flat fee per parcel for fire and police protection ($150? $250? per residential parcel for example, something more for commercial property perhaps).

I just don't have confidence that enough ideas have been tossed around to get the numbers right for repeal to work. But I believe it cold be done.

Anonymous said...

Shelter is a basic human need. It should not be taxed. Only an immoral government taxes a basic human survival need.

Taxpayer said...

Absolutely, property taxes should be repealed. And people should always be honest. But this is not a perfect world, and just because those things SHOULD be true will not MAKE them true. In the meantime, the tax caps are a much better option than what we've been living with. I don't believe we can afford to wait for perfection -- especially while our esteemed legislators are already gutting the rest of the tax relief plan with legislation that ELIMINATES our right to vote on projects that will RAISE OUR TAXES (see http://www.indystar.com/article/20090226/NEWS0501/902260419/1215/NEWS05).

We MUST keep the pressure on, or we will lose what little progress we've made. Bad enough we re-elected some of these crafty thieves; if we let them get by with stunts like eliminating our right to vote on whether or not our taxes go up, we will be right back to paying half our income to live in our own homes.

Anonymous said...

People should show up with eiliminate property taxes signs

Shorebreak said...

40 U.S. Cities Throwing "Boston Tea Parties

Pete Boggs said...

We got troubles folks, right here in White River City... that begins with "T" which rhymes with "P" & we got problems... doot-doot-doot-doot-doot-doot-doot- doot-doot-doot-doot... "Step right up folks," and try your hand at tax craps. One roll residential! Two rolls rental! Three rolls commercial!