"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%;
- 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.