Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Early Signs Of Ugly Tax Bills

When the township assessors are asking for police protection in advance of tax bills going out in Marion Co., you know the hit homeowners are about to endure must really be bad. The Star reports:

At least three of Marion County's nine township assessors will be given police protection because they are so worried about confrontations with irate taxpayers.

The Marion County treasurer's office expects to begin mailing tax bills Friday, and Marion County Sheriff Frank Anderson said he will provide police protection for township assessors who fear the bills will be enough to spark rage among some taxpayers.

Specifically, Wayne, Franklin and Lawrence townships have requested police protection according to the Star story. Center Township Assessor Eugene Akers, the full-time janitorial supervisor for IPS who also draws a government check for being township assessor, has not requested police protection. Because his office is located in the city-county building, anyone visiting his office will have to go through metal detectors before entering the building.


Wilson46201 said...

Gene Akers took a leave of absence from his longtime IPS job to take control of his newly elected position. Officeholders have no time cards - they are only required to perform their statutory duties. Aker's predecessor in office for personal reasons could hardly spend any time at all on the job but the work got done satisfactorily nevertheless ...

An old-time genuine expert in that office predicts that the doughnut townships will be more severely impacted by that shift off of inventory taxes onto homeowners.

Unknown said...

Not quite on topic, but why is the Center Township Assessor's office in the crowded City-County Building (where presumably the space must be rented) when the Township owns at least two office buildings that it barely occupies?

Anonymous said...

Why does the Center Twp Assessor have an office in our city-county building, when his township trustee owns a GIANT building on Massachusetts AV, another GIANT building with a TAVERN at 300 E Fall Creek PWY, and a third former YMCA building on W 10th ST???

Gee, with all that office and bar space, it seems the township trustee could offer the township assessor some space, too! And for protection, isn't Carl Drummer (D) township trustee also a duly appointed (D) deputy constable of the Center Township small claims court???????

That would provide the security for the assessor, too!

Anonymous said...

I just called Scott Robinette's office. He is the Depty Chief Division Commander in charge of Criminal Investigations Division.

His office, in charge of CRIME INVESTIGATION, did not know that IMPD's crime cameras are not working. The person who took my call ended up hanging up on me shortly after I advised the conversation was being recorded.

Aren't the taxpayers getting their money's worth?

Gary R. Welsh said...

Good question, David. Carl Drummer would rather shell out extra money to pay the county for rent rather than use the abundance of office space available between the Mass Ave trustee's office and 300 East. He wants to lease out that space to non-governmental leaseholders instead so he can pretend to be a businessman, treating our property as if it is his own personal property.

Anonymous said...

Can you get an itemized list of the overhead for each of the 9 townships so we can see the waste in duplicate services to the citizens? The number of employee salaries, office equipment, supplies, utilitiy bills, security, building maintenance,etc.

Spend and tax Democrats. Rep. Bill Crawford (D) chose to protect Center Township in the General Assembly against consolidation.

Why do we need 9 trustees to administer poor relief in Marion County anyway. This consolidation alone would save the taxpayers millions of dollars annually. All paid for with property owners' taxes in the townships.

Anonymous said...

1:57 has a good point! I bet getting rid of rent for 9 offices, including maintenance & custodial staff, eliminating all of Carl Drummer's (D) patronage hires with make work-do nothing jobs, would save over a million $

Gary R. Welsh said...

Not to mention the $11 million Drummer has sitting in a bank account unused because we've been over-taxed. That money should be rebated to the taxpayers.

Wilson46201 said...

Strangely enough, all the Township Assessors Offices are a part of County Government, not Township Government. They have only names in common. Assessors answer to the City-County Council, not the Township Boards. The Center Township Assessor has long been invited to move into township-owned space. Drummer has no responsibility whatsoever over the Assessor - sorry to puncture your hatefest!

Prior to Trustee Julia Carson, Center Township was perpetually in debt regularly forcing the County to issue bonds for operating expenses. [yikes!] She restructured the financing - Drummer continues it - and now the hapless Republicans complain that the Township is too rich! The voters repeatedly and vastly prefer the Democrats running things in Center Township. It's called democracy!

Wilson46201 said...

Last year Center Township taxes were only 01.47% of your total Center Township tax bill. Except for one year, Trustee Drummer has reduced Township taxes every year.

Anonymous said...

Not to mention the $11 million Drummer has sitting in a bank account unused because we've been over-taxed.

This is an outrage, and should be criminal! Can Drummer (D) be prosecuted for RICO?

Anonymous said...

and Drummer (D) has a payroll over 100+ employees!! That is corruption!

Anonymous said...

--"Tax & Spend"

Wilson46201 said...

In America, if you want change, vote the office-holder out! The voters just last year chose Drummer over his pitiful GOP opponent better than 3 to 1. Now the losing Republicans hide behind "anonymous" and holler "corruption'. Find a better candidate and better issues and let the voters choose. In 2006 all your naysaying went for naught - Drummer was resoundingly re-elected. With VoterID, how is the losing GOP going to whine 'voter fraud' now?

Anonymous said...

"In America, if you want change, vote the office-holder out!"

In America, where my money is stolen so certain government funded cesspools, I mean housing, is strategically developed to help keep a certain district voting Socialist Democrap, voting an elected socialist is laughable.

Since one cannot stop the continued building of government handout property, thus not being able to stop the thousands who lean left and vote left, the correct response would be to _MOVE_ out of the area. You are much more able to change things by moving to an area where there are more similar like-minded people.

For those who are sick of Center Township, MOVE. There is no reason to stay in a semi-gerrymandered area if you do not agree with the politics of the elected hacks.

Wilson46201 said...

The boundaries of Center Township haven't changed since at least 1851 so any talk of gerrymandering is utter bullshit.

Anonymous said...

Wilson's old-time expert is full of shit.

Akers only gave up his IPS job when he was forced. He didn't see the need until forced.

He was not qualified for the job. Pathetically unqualified,. as a matter of fact. The party turned down, narrowly, a challenger who was a state-certified appraiser, in the May 06 primary. She was more qualified asleep than Akers is awake.

Alas, she did not have Julia's endorsement. Akers did.


And we wonder why people get turned off by government.

Anonymous said...

In America, if you want change, vote the office-holder out!

Wilsomn.. does that go for EVERY elected official, or just the ones YOU think are doing a lousy job?
Remember ,Bart PROMISED 200 MORE cops in his first election, OPPOSED colsolidation in his 2nd. Promised senoirs they would be safer. (remember, you're a "senior"

Maybe we should vote Bart and Monroe out as well.

Wilson46201 said...

The Democratic voters of Center Township made the determination of qualifications for their Assessor in a hard-fought and 'expensive' election. Different folk may have different criteria - that's why we have elections!

Anonymous said...

"The boundaries of Center Township haven't changed since at least 1851 so any talk of gerrymandering is utter bullshit."

Should have been reverse-gerrymandering. Basically the lines don't move, but things are done to change the internal nature of the area within the lines.

Anonymous said...

(Sigh) He just doesn't get it...

Township government is expensive, Bub. Assessing is one of the most-important tasks township government performs, except helping the poor.

Assessing is a difficult job. It needs to be done correctly. Ergo, having a qualified assessor would've been helpful.

Gene Akers was not that person. In last year's primary, voters narrowly chose him over a woman who told me while campaigning, that she was state-certified in appraising. Seems plausible to me: a candidate who's been involved in the party, is friendly, professional, competent. If we can't do away with the offices, at least get a qualified person in there.

But nooooooooooo, she lost, because the Center crowd didn't endorse her. They chose Mr. Akers, he of two-taxpayer-job fame. Without batting an eye.

That he debated keeping his IPS job for 20 seconds shows a tremendous lack of respect for taxpayers.

Which is exactly the antithesis of what we needed in that office.

Good post, Gary. Wilson will continually thank the voters for electing unqualified hacks. So be it. Whether those hacks cost us 1.5% or 5% of our tax bill, it's apparently enough money to amass real estate empires. Off the tax rolls. Great, huh?

This assessing job is different than the trustee's, however. It required a professionnal. We didn't get it.

So we all pay. Again. The continued nonsense in these offices is the eprfect argument for eliminating them. It'll happen.

Anonymous said...

By next week, nearly everyone will be extremely upset and pointing fingers everywhere. The state agency overseeing the assessments in Marion County said that Center Township residential had to be redone and that the business, industrial, and commercial property were undervalued throughout the county -- but it was too late for a whole new reassessment. Center Township was the worst, however, I think that there will be problems everywhere.

Most people who have been able to take a peek at the new AVs and taxes have found their taxes went up 50 to 100%, and those in Wayne, IPS districts, and Warren are the worst.

Gene Akers and other assessors elected this year walked into a huge mess. No wonder they want police protection.

But more than 50% of the property taxes go to schools -- arguing over township budgets does not make sense when $650 million goes to schools in this county.

With high property taxes and double the income tax as in the outlying counties, how will we keep people -- except poor people -- living in this county?

Anonymous said...

All the more reason, 3:12, that Akers should've stayed at IPS, and a qualified assessor could've been elected. And one more nail in the coffin of a multi-layered assessor system. One countywide person should be overseeing this. You sound like you know whereof you speak, so I'm guessing you work with this system. Or close to it.

A qualified assessor should be mandated for this job. But heck, we've got an unqualified person as coroner, so...death and taxes, ya know?

Mr. Akers may be a nice man, but he should never have run. It begs the question: if he ran for it, and the Center Twp. folks backed him, what did they expect to get for it? When they could've gotten a qualified person. This job is too important to assign to the regular political hack system.

Indiana's antique property tax system was ruled unconstitutional by the Indiana Tax Court's Judge Fisher long ago. The legislature waited until the last possible minute to try to fix it. They failed. Miserably.

For many, many years, the overall burden was unfairly placed on commercial properties, ratio-wise. I know you don't want to hear that, but it's a fact.

When you combine this perfect storm, it's a train wreck: a small shift overall from commercial to residential, real property values, trending and reassessment.

Over time, this will level out.

Now, it's a mess. Predictably.

Not worth it among $650 million? Schools have elected baords. We can get at them. There are remedies.

By any reasonable measure, we're spending about $10-15 million a year with township assessors. Maybe more.

To me, that's real money. That could be directed at the county assessor's office for proper, trained and consistent oversight.

Or, God forbid, returned to taxpayers, or not levied in the first place.