Thursday, July 19, 2007

Tax Revolt Brewing In Lake County

Marion Co. homeowners hit the street to protest their taxes by the 4th of July as soon as tax bills began hitting mailboxes. Believe it or not, there are about three dozen counties which have yet to mail their tax bills, including the state's second largest county, Lake. There are signs of problems there as well according to Bill Dolan of the Northwest Indiana Times. Dolan writes today:

Property owners are complaining their latest property tax assessments are all over the map in north Lake County."They screwed up," JoAnn Palko, of Hammond's Robertsdale section, said Wednesday after getting a slip of paper from the North Township assessor's office informing her that her 1,800-square-foot, wood-frame home had jumped in value from $127,000 to $220,000. "I have no pool, no sidewalk. It's their mistake."

George Rogge, president of Gary's Miller Citizens Corp. said members of his community are equally perplexed.Rogge said he has heard from Miller residents whose assessed values rose three, five and in one case, nine times, higher than last year's values.

Wes Miller, a Hammond tax activist, said his personal home and investment properties have gone up by thousands of dollars, but he is hearing from residents of the city's Hessville section that values there are stable or actually declined.

These protestations come in the wake of assessment notices arriving in the mail of the counties most urbanized townships and a tax revolt brewing in Indianapolis, where homeowners are being socked by property tax bills more than 35 percent higher than last year.

Gov. Mitch Daniels ordered a reassessment Wednesday for Marion County, and more are likely to follow for counties with soaring residential bills but few changes in business property values.

Dolan notes that a similar problem cropped up in Lake a couple of years ago and the state wrote the problems off, leaving it to Lake County officials to fix. "The same problems cropped up in Lake County two years ago but were written off by state authorities as the result of government inefficiency, local officials say." "Lake County headed off a similar tax revolt with a circuit breaker that caps an individual's property tax at 2 percent of the gross assessed value."

7 comments:

Fair Tax Volunteer said...

Hoosiers For Fair Taxation would be happy to help them with their revolt.

Anonymous said...

Their election of tax and spend representatives has put them right where they belong. Liberal Lake County is experiencing just what they’ve have asked for

Anonymous said...

And which party is in control in Lake County????

Wilson46201 said...

I talked to several senior elected officials from Lake County today - tax bills havent been mailed out yet in Lake. They are watching warily the kerfuffle in Marion County. I warned them that the main effect could be on expensive, older homes. The enclave of Miller will be hit hard.

Anonymous said...

"I talked to several senior elected officials from Lake County today"

Yaaawwwwn, bet they were glad to hear from you.

So, your above talking to minor elected officials?

Wilson46201 said...

And an anonymous nobody who is so ashamed to use her own name in public asks such questions? Pshaw!

Anonymous said...

This is to all the taxpayers of Indiana, all who have had enough of all the lunacy. I would like to suggest an idea, that I have really not seen in our history, as a solution to the sense of hopelessness, in Americans at every level but the top. The only ideas to date, are to somehow change the system itself, to sue the system , to attempt to elect individuals and then throw them into snakepit, alone and unarmed, maybe to protest with placards and sit-ins, and then somehow think any of these might work. They all involve the need to include those in charge as part of the picture and decision making,them always having the final say, or really, the only say. Apathy, fear of the system itself, ignorance of the system, these all encouraged by the system, make the individual today truly feel as though there is no answer, they are powerless, why bother...The new approach? Use the laws, rules, regulations, and rights of the people, apply them individually, but by all to the fullest extent each has a right to , an extent the system itself was never engineered over the years to handle. Because of the bully tactics of the past decades, rights have been morphed by the bullies' sense of invulnerability, they never think appeals will be a factor again, as so many individually have been made an example of, who would dare try to question them. Hence, no real ability to serve the questioning by the public, by silencing with power,there is no need for a process to listen really. Instead of common sense, civility and decency keeping dissent at bay, the chosen path has been for too long to use the system to crush any questioning...Taxation without representation, the work done by all to support the chosen few, King George, all seem like we are living the sequel today? Why did they fight to form this country? How did the first go-round end? What if every American, were to exercise their right to appeal every tax applied to them, at every level, and take it to the fullest extent? If even just applied at the county level to real estate taxes, as in our state, or in other states at the most local extent, with the 1000/1 ratio of taxpayer/government worker, systemic gridlock would be total, immediate, and not fixable without a complete understanding that as the chosen few, they could not do as they pleased any longer. In our state, the laws are extremely specific about our right to question taxation, with numerous levels of appeal, before reaching court.The same at the federal level, but for many, too hard to travel to the federal offices.( Imagine the surprise when 200 million extensions would come in next April 16th at the IRS, as an easy one on the federal end, done at home...Might need to order more letter openers?...) These local appeals can all be done by the person themselves, with no legal representation, filing one paper,form 130,this intitiates the process, filing 20000+_ at the same instance, per county, stops the insanity. This all done within 45 days of the next reassessment, coming next year... 20000 appeals to listen to,less than half of the taxpayers in this county, (not Marion) at 30 minutes per meeting, 80/week ...Think about it...This just the first salvo, each agency has a phone line, a help window, mailboxes,all take payments(dollar bills making us all feel proud of showing how much we contribute to the cause, a check is so impersonal),and if asked,they have to send any information asked for, the opportunities could be endless...They have exacting job descriptions for each and every job in government, we all make sure they do all in those descriptions, for each and every one of us, whenever we want, to whatever extent we feel we need to ask and be informed, as they are of course, PUBLIC SERVANTS, and we the public immediatley feel like we need to be served in a manner we have been deprived of for so long. Just this idea, making the light of day, at a high enough level, explained in terms that each person would see the true ease and purity of the solution. Just letting those in charge know the possibility exists, might be all that is needed, but the process has to be in place, to let them know it can be done. If there is any real down side to my reasoning, any real reason this would not work, I would appreciate your views. We all do understand the need of taxes, we like roads, we like police, we like to know an ambulance will be there when needed...We are, truly, reasonable people, if you let us be, and become reasonable in kind...It is all the excess we have had enough of, we want our lives back, the corporate pigs and politicians have had their fill, when is it our turn? How about now?...There are kids here, who upon graduating high school, have never set foot outside our county, because of their parents do nothing but work 2 shifts, to just survive. Medical problems present that should only be seen in third world countries, in the young and old alike, but never in families of the politicians, they all have benefits....When we were kids, even the poorer families had fun in their lives, look out into the real world, and see at what income level the thought of fun ever enters into the picture any more...School shootings, suicides, perverts, rapists, murderers, think the stress of the day to day might have anything to do with it? Any possibility that as the fourth or fifth generation of single parent families now live, that the values we learned from just having parents around, have been diluted in each subsequent generation to where there is no real memory in most of what those values were? Mom or dad always working, all kids know is from TV, peers in the same boat, we need to get back to where it was , the place we remember, but the children of today think of as a funny black and white old movie....By starting with one paper per person, it could easily be over...It is time for the few to listen to the many...As on the playground, the bully relies on intimidation of the individual. But as I am sure you remember, when all have finally been beaten up, the light bulb moment appears in one individual's mind, and the individuals then become one...My lightbulb lit last month...Time to take back the playground, eh? Pipe dream? Too simplistic? The simplicity I think is the key to success....Got to keep the lunies on the path...Perhaps our war cry? (As an aside,the abridged version, should you be interested,a permanent,easily implemented fix to all is to tie all funding for all government, salaries ,budgets etc., to an averaged per job/industry income index,like the DOW ,taken from tax data from the citizens, per occupation, business, and industry. Specific to the geographic region they govern, city data for city index,county, state, federal the same, spending and salaries adjusted yearly up or down to be in line with that average...Those in government do well when their policies work in there given region, they take a huge hit and pay cuts as we do, at the exact same rate of those who live with their decisions do. Taxes would then be in line with what the people are experiencing in their lives, same with the suffering, they would be accountable for their actions in the same way we experience it all, with the checkbook...Work harder, make it betterand get a raise,or sit and do nothing and take a pay cut or get a pink slip, the incentive would finally be there to fix it all...This for another time....They view their jobs,pay, and benefits somehow as an entitlement,let them know as we do, EXACTLY as we do, what we are living.) Just one person's ideas, but maybe it could be the right start...