Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Nuvo: Indianapolis Joins List Of High Tax Cities

In just a few short years, Mayor Bart Peterson and his Democratic-controlled council have transitioned Indianapolis from one of the nation's lowest-taxed cities to one of the nation's highest. Nuvo is asking in an editorial this week: What do we have to show for it? The editorial reads:

The second major property tax increase in Marion County in the past four years has left many homeowners reeling and renewed concerns about the possibility that many longtime property owners may be driven out of the city of Indianapolis.

Prior to 2004, when state courts ordered that Indiana change its methods of property assessment, Indianapolis homeowners paid considerably less on average than homeowners in other, comparable cities across the country. The city’s relatively low property taxes fit comfortably with a variety of other local economic indicators to make Indianapolis one of the most affordable big cities in the U.S.

But that situation began to change with the 2004 property tax increase — and the 2007 increase appears to have thrown the Indianapolis cost of living into a higher tier relative to other U.S.
cities.

Tax rankings were published in 2006 by CNNMoney.com in a special report called “Tax-friendly places 2006.” When it came to property taxes, Indianapolis ranked 11th out of 51 cities, ahead of Houston, Seattle, Philadelphia, Boston, Minneapolis, Columbus, Ohio, and Washington, D.C. We came in just behind Chicago, Milwaukee and Atlanta.

The report poses some troubling questions: What do we have to show for our transformation from a city with a low rate of property tax to a high rate? Are city services — from public safety to schools to streets and sewers — better than ever?

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is very troubling indeed. We have to compete against these cities for jobs, people and prestige.

It's just more proof that our property tax system needs to go. Period. And that multiple duplicitous layers of government need to be revamped, eliminated or streamlined.

As for the infrastructure--why not ask the Republicans how they took care of jail overcrowding, Combined Sewer Overflow, and horrible streets, for 35 years? All sacrificed at the altar of no new taxes.

All these problems are being addressed now, and--SURPRISE!!--it costs more than it would've if we'd dealt with them at more appropriate times.

A tax strategy summit is in order.

Anonymous said...

This is a big problem in this country. As things get more connected, I almost see the day when federal runs everything. There are too many tax breaks by all kinds of state governments, local governments, etc. fighting for jobs that might pay $15/hr. Everytime states fight for these jobs, it gets ugly. Greensburg residents won big while some town in Ohio might have just been given a death blow.

Anonymous said...

We need a transparent form of taxation, we need to privatize our schools, we need to cut government fat starting with Peterson's do nothing highly paid political appointments such as deputy mayors and that idiot that cut the stadium deal with Irsay.

Lance said...

"Greensburg residents won big while some town in Ohio might have just been given a death blow. "

Right, but would you rather have it the other way around? Tax incentives for business are good business - the taxes paid by 2000 extra jobs, from 15$/hour on up, make up for the $100 million in tax abatements a company like Honda can expect.

Independent Voter said...

I just reviewed my files from the last Property Tax debacle in 2003. The outrage and editorials, the petitions and meetings are all depressingly similar to that seen today... except we know that nothing of substance came of all the sound and fury, except a few politicians got replaced.
I also came across this chilling news clipping.
"IPS gives go-ahead for $475M more in bonds" which will cost taxpayers $1.5 BILLION over the next 30 years, including interest. The ADDITIONAL Tax Hike for this will kick in in 2016 finishing off the few remaining Marion County Tax-payers (and it won't be Jim Irsay).
This is an ON-GOING disaster.
We need to have a permanent 1% cap on property taxes like proposition 13, which can't be changed without a 2/3 majority of both the California house & senate.

Anonymous said...

This is what happens when Democrats take control, TAX & SPEND, Old Chicago, Machine politics....

...Democrat mayor now wants increase in city-county income tax, Democrat council wants to give themselves a pay raise.

Democrat Center Twp Trustee has three giant buildings owned by taxpayers....and a patronage payroll of over 100!!!! Why???

Democrat small claims court constable lives in a mansion....ever wonder about his fees?

Democrat council president visits the illegal pea shake houses, visiting his constituents.....

Two Democrat council members have make-work, do-nothing jobs as "chiefs" on the city fire department, get free gas for a city car, and have no responsibility in that capacity....in other words, ghost employment.

Democrat involved scandals are abundant, like the 'special' fire department checking account that was writing bad checks...and they weren't for smoke detectors.

Democrat clerk can't open the polling places on election day.

Democrat assessor ignores warnings that his assessment is not fair and proper, and it is not only big news, but now the subject of litigation in court that TAXPAYERS will pay for.

Democrat coroner is an idiot firing the best pathologist firm in the midwest and hiring an incompetent pathologist with a past that includes medical license suspension and court settlements for misconduct in office. The coroner also has a problem with dead bodies missing their property, relatives getting notifications, and county owned equipment is missing, too!

This is the miserable life of TAX & SPEND corruption under the Democrats.

Anonymous said...

The central city core which is the geographical boundary of the old city limits of Indianapois has lost 156,000 residents since the time UNIGOV began. IPS's boundary lines are the pre-UNIGOV city limits. Where in the hell has all the money gone to in this area? Certainly not to the schools located in this area. Take a look at the IPS schools from top to bottom and tell me where the waste is. The money has gone to the suburban townships. Look at the township school's facilities compared to those of IPS. Why doesn't Tech have a football palace like Franklin Central? Does Howe or Washington have swimming pools like North Central.
With 50% of my tax money going to schools in this county I sure as hell don't see much going to the "old Indianpolis schools" which are in the district I live in. Where's the money gone?
Someone stated that IPS has lost 60,000 students, many of whom are now in the townships.
Without UNIGOV the population of Indianapolis today would be about 330,000 people.
No, we don't have a lot to show for the increase in taxes other than another 7,000 or so abandoned hoomes to go with the 12,000 we already have in the central city.
Indianapolis, save for the Mile Square, is dying and many neighborhoods are already dead.

Anonymous said...

Democrat mayor has a high paid director of public safety...what is his responsibility? Is the position necessary?

Democrat mayor increased the number of deputy mayors & increased the salary of deputy mayors....and we need to increase city income tax?

Anonymous said...

Democrat mayor encourages the illegal alien invasion, letting the Mexican government have space at TAXPAYER owned Union Station to issue to false consular ID cards, Democrat mayor has our City-County Building marked with signs in Spanish to accomodate invaders, 911 calls go unanswered, but callers get to hear a Spanish version of "thank you for calling 911, your call is important to us...."

Anonymous said...

Does anyone remember Tammany Hall????

Anonymous said...

1:08, the John Birch Society called...they need you for their meeting. Marilyn Quayle is there, waiting on you.

Where do these people come from, anyway?

Anonymous said...

1:20 They come from Indianapolis, where Democrat corruption is flowing, TAXes are increasing, and SPENDing on patronage jobs (deputy mayor, director of public safety, township trustee jobs).

Yes, you can compare present day Indianapolis to Tammany Hall, it's quite the same.

Anonymous said...

Indianapolis corrupt?
When the largest illegal numbers racketeering operation in the United States can operate without impunity with law enforcement, prosecutors and politicians on the take then does anything surprise you?
I'd like to see the biggest corruption scandal to ever hit a city hall come down so damn bad I can't stand it!
Crooked Mayor, crooked prosecutor, crooked council members, crooked cops, crooked firemen, crooked assessors, crooked business community and the list goes on and on and on.
Did this all start with the Democrats running this hellhole of a city? NO! The Republicans played the same crooked game for over 35 years.
IT NEEDS TO COME TO AND END AND IT NEEDS TO HAPPEN NOW!
I don't care if they're black, white, brown or yellow. THEY'RE ASSESS NEED TO HEAD THE HELL OUT OF THIS COUNTY!
Enoughs a goddam enough!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

The problems Indianapolis is now going through is the direct result of electing Democrats.

They do what they do best, TAX & SPEND.

Corruption is OK, as long as the politician gets $$$ and votes.

How do the pea shakes go on? Why are taxes going up? Why are there so many high paying patronage jobs? Why do 2 firemen have those make-work jobs and no responsibility? -Can we see a listing of tasks they accomplished?

Anonymous said...

PATRONAGE?????????????

Is that why every time I call ANY division of our Mayor's city-county government I get an African-American at the other end of the line that I can barely understand what they're saying?

You don't think PATRONAGE had anything to do with those white officers being passed over for promotions do you? The Justice Department did!

And I used to think former East Chicago Mayor Pastrick was bad enough. Hell, at least he was a lot of fun to drink with! I'm not even going to waste bad booze over Peterson.

Anonymous said...

5:25 I'd like to invite you for a drink at 300 East! (That's the bar in the TAXPAYER owned building that Democrat Carl Drummer, Center Twp Trustee is renting space to.)

P. S. Does anyone know where in the Indiana Code Township Trustees are permitted to buy buildings they don't need so they can become property developers/managers?

Wilson46201 said...

for 7:13pm : Townships are expressly forbidden to pass ordinances binding upon all residents but otherwise as independent entities of government they can do whatever is Constitutional and properly approved by their "legislative body", the Township Board. Townships in some places operate community centers, others run cemeteries, libraries are operated by others. Volunteer fire departments are popular in other townships. It's all up to the local voters. Believe me, if what Center Township of Marion County was doing something illegal, zealous political operatives would have sued about it already. The voters just re-elected their Center Township Trustee 3-to-1 after "those buildings" were repeatedly brought up by noisy opponents.

Jay said...

Are you going to allow such racist comments? I think it's time to switch to a better blog service so you can approve all comments.

I'd love to know where 4:28's ancestors came from and how.

Anonymous said...

1:10 I think you're right....we've got Tammany Hall 2007 here in Indianapolis!

Anonymous said...

Wilson's point is clear: "The Machine" (ie: 1960-70's Chicago) turns out the votes, the CORRUPT politicians (Twp Trustee & Twp Board) then do whatever they want with our TAX money!

The Indianapolis Machine a/k/a "The Machine" works like this: "The Machine" keeps Monroe Gray & Vern Brown in the Council AND they also get make-work, do-nothing jobs with big salaries and city cars under the guise of Fire Dept. Chiefs. "The Machine" also has Gray's council majority leader's WIFE as the person who APPROVES THE VARIANCE for the BAR in the Twp Government building. That is how Machine Government works in Indianapolis.

I see "The Machine" is well-oiled and working fine...as Wilson points out: somehow the votes keep coming in for the corrupt politicians and they keep 'scratching each other's back' and TAXing us so they can SPEND our money on whatever suits them (ie: bar in a Twp building, new stadium for a football team, new basketball arena for a basketball team, city property for a billion dollar company to have their headquarters, create and fill hundreds of patronage jobs, some with extraordinary salaries).

WRONG, Wilson! The legislature did NOT intend for Townships to be in the business of property managment/development, landlords of Bars, or storage facility for Twp Trustee cars. Nor did the Legislature of Indiana ever imagine "The Machine" taking over.

Wolfrham Hart said...

Interesting. When did Wilson get back? I thought you were banned.

Anonymous said...

Bally hoo is fine and good, But you all need to remember if less than half of the population is voting in these so called "elections" it's no wonder this city falls into such chaos. People represent the city and are the constituents to the government that they the people elect. If you want change go to the polls and get others involved, educate, enlighten inform and vote out those politians that don't properly represent those in which they serve.