Thursday, June 28, 2007

Peterson Wants Special Session

Wow! I found something upon which I agree with Mayor Peterson. He called on Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) to call a special session of the legislature this summer to deal with the "property tax crisis." Indeed, WTHR's Mary Milz interviewed local realtor Joe Everhart today. He tells her some homes in the Meridian-Kessler neighborhood are seeing tax increases of 158%--much more than the 24% increase predicted earlier. The Star's Mary Beth Schneider quotes Peterson as saying:


"We are, or are about to be, in a property tax crisis here in Marion County and across the state of Indiana." "And there's one thing that I can guarantee you you're going to see over the next few days and the next few weeks, and that is the ultimate finger-pointing fest." "Everybody is going to try to point the finger of blame at somebody else."

Specifically, Peterson wants the legislature to: provide a state takeover of child welfare costs currently paid by local property taxes, saving Marion Co. property taxpayers $41 million; lift the freeze on the property tax replacement credit, allowing $25 million more in relief to flow to Marion Co.; and passage of the Indianapolis Works proposal, which means consolidation of the fire departments but not other township government functions, which he claims will save $22 million. That latter claim is dubious given the lack of savings derived from law enforcement consolidation.

So why are property taxes going up so much in Marion Co.? Some are blaming the loss of the business inventory tax, while others suggest its simply rising property values represented by the new tax assessments. But as WTHR notes, local governments in Marion Co. made deliberate decisions to tax property owners more this year. Here's how much some of those taxing districts are hitting your tax bills:


  • Pike Township Schools--6%;
  • IPS--21%;
  • City of Indianapolis--9%; and
  • County Welfare--75%.

I'm afraid to call ahead and find out how much my tax bill is going up. My taxes tripled after the 2003 reassessment. The situation has to be really bad for Mayor Peterson to take the step of asking Daniels to call a special session. It's a clever move on Peterson's part to help get the monkey off his back in this critical re-election year for him. I hope Daniels calls a special session--not to help out Peterson--but to address the problems the legislature left unattended when they adjourned earlier this year.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

I notice Barty didn't say just WHO was going to pay for that special session. Nothing is free. Maybe Bart "fiscally conservative" Peterson will dip in to his pocket? Ha!

Wilson46201 said...

FYI: your new property tax information (and bill!) is available already on the Internet at www.indygov.org . There's a $4.08 fee to access it at home right now...

Anonymous said...

While the increases are due to a variety of factors, homeowners are really getting a bum deal. Many townships and counties in the state didn't reassess commercial property. Businesses are still at 1999 values in those areas. Homes have been bumped up seven years. It is a continued shift of the property tax burden from business to homeowners.

I do not think most of our legislators were aware that this was going to happen. There is good reason to hold the special session.

Anonymous said...

6:35pm, I agree totally, millions statewide are lost on undervalued or revalued commercial property. If we are going to let the businesses have their way with no inventory tax then the very least that can be done is for their commercial properties to be taxed at 2007 market value just like our homes.

Anonymous said...

Wilson:

Where on Indygov.org can one find their property tax bill?

Thanks.....

Wilson46201 said...

Tax bill:
https://www.civicnet.net/apps/property/information/ia/property

Anonymous said...

I'm in zip 46201 and my property tax increased $406.
Tax went from $623 to $1029.

The house was assessed for exactly what our mortgage is at not on what our home is worth which is much higher.

The assessor simply took the amount we financed which was $82,100 and figured the property tax from that number. I find that to be rather odd.

Advance Indiana said...

I heard someone relate to me tonight a piece of commercial property near Broad Ripple which is easily worth $1 million but was assessed at only $150,000. That's a big problem. We have incompetent assessors who aren't doing their jobs in assessing business/commercial properties, which have changed very little over the past decade. That means homeowners have to make up the difference because the assessors aren't doing their jobs.

Wilson46201 said...

There are 1008 Assessors in Indiana (always have been). It's been a long-standing problem devising a system to ensure uniformity amongst those 1008.

The problem of under-assessing commercial property seems to have gone on for some time in most townships. This indicates not incompetence but something in the basic organization and system affecting all. I suspect the shock of the shift in assessment method of residential properties has diverted attention off of commercial property. Assessing commercial property is a very different animal than residential!

Anonymous said...

can you say "KICKBACK"? How do you think these places get assessed at a lower rate? "Did you drop that hundred dollar bill? Are you sure it's worth that much?"
We know how the game is played. Just like the inspector who "finds" and envelope at a new septic tank inspection. "No problems here, passes inspection"
Could this be a possibility?

Lynn David said...

I can't wait to see the tax bill on my farm. Any rise will probably have doubled it over the last 5 years. Can't make any money even if corn prices go through the roof now. Indiana takes my windfall in taxes, and has over the last 4 years' rises.

*sigh*

Hey... a new session, maybe we can get them to reintroduce SJR-7 and hold up any tax legislation unless it is passed! Fun!

*sigh*

Anonymous said...

I know of many, many commercial properties who overpaid for years. So it's not uniform. Not even close.

It's time, again, to do what should've been done already: to ensure uniformity, one person per county should be in charge of this. Do away with township government altogether. It's expensive, duplicitous and wasteful.

A special session likely won't do much: the anti-Indianapolis sentiment is already rampant over there. If they have to come back to town for a special session, allegedly to deal with "an Indy prolem," can you imagine the grief those knuckleheads will foist on our city?

Here's a thought: look into TIFs and abatements. Some of those need to go away. Every little bit helps.

Anonymous said...

I paid $150K for a commercial building 3 years ago. I paid $3800.00 in property tax. I believe I paid my fair share. Can't wait to see how much more I'm going to pay.

Anonymous said...

Some advice. One thing everyone should do is find out what the assessed values of your neighbors homes are. Especially homes that are comparabel to yours in square footage, layout, etc. What I have found in my neighborhood is that there appears to be no rhyme or reason in the way homes were assessed. It was my understanding that "fair market value" was to be applied. There are two houses on my cul-de-sac that are comparable to mine but they are assessed $35,000 less than mine. This type of discrepancy persists throughout the neighborhood. This puts me and other homeowners in similar situations at an unfair market advantage and seems unconstitutional in my opinion.

Advance Indiana have you heard of anything like this going on and whether there is any recourse?

Wilson46201 said...

Incongruities and inconsistencies amongst comparable properties is the reason the appellate system exists. Your assessment is NOT fixed in stone. Appeal it but use facts not fruitless emotionalism!

Advance Indiana said...

Looks like my assessment is up close to 30% according to the Star's online database