Monday, July 14, 2008

Star Warns That More Long-Term Fixes Are Needed

A Star editorial has a warning to politicians who might mistakenly think that the property tax reform changes they implemented this year are enough to fix the long-term problems with property taxes and local government. The tax storm of 2007 can easily return. Some of the changes still needed:

Eliminating Indiana's 1,008 township governments, an outdated system that harkens to the 19th century, is but one step needed to ensure that tax dollars are used more efficiently. County governments' leadership structure needs to be streamlined. Local governments also should be allowed to hire professionals to fill the coroner, surveyor and other posts that require technical expertise rather than continuing to fill the positions with elected politicians.

One of the things I fear if Gov. Daniels is not re-elected is a return to the political environment we had in Indiana for the 16 years under Democratic governors where none of these changes would be possible. Democratic governors are loathe to take on the patronage fiefdoms these local government officials have built up over time, and they certainly won't support anything that the teachers' unions oppose. That leads to stalemate and nothing getting accomplished.

7 comments:

Zappatista said...

Is there really any reason to fear that "My man Mitch" won't be re-elected? The Dem's have done nothing but botch this at every step. I wouldn't worry, if I were you....

Advance Indiana said...

At this point, this year is shaping up to be the worst year for Republicans since Watergate in 1974, perhaps as bad as the Depression election in 1932. I wouldn't count any Republican facing an opponent as safe.

Vox Populi said...

Gary, don't forget that Daniels has already been in office for four years and hasn't pushed hard for the elimination of township governments.

He has the Republican Senate, and just needs to bring two Democrats to his side in the House to get it done. Two years ago he could have done it with a Republican trifecta.

So before you go off about Democrats, look in your own back yard first.

Assessor said...

18 of the 22 counties ordered reassessed were done by the so called professionals. Are there crappy assessors? Sure there are, just like there are crappy bloggers and crappy attorneys.

Mike Kole said...

I know this- the majority of Indiana's counties are predominantly Republican. The majority of townships are predominantly Republican. In terms of pure patronage opportunities across this state, the offices about to be shed, or spoken of being shed in this article, are predominantly Republican. Having spent some time in county government (and having to attend the godawful IACT seminars), I heard Republican officeholders grumbling the most, saying things like, "what is that idiot Mitch trying to do? Eliminate our grassroots?"

I might even expect a Democrat to cut them with glee.

artfuggins said...

As you have pointed out repeatedly to us, the Star is a very unreliable, unprofessional source of information and news. I believe on several occasions that you have referred to it as the RED STAR RAG or something of that order. How then, can we suddenly accept that this article presents a true picture.

Advance Indiana said...

I've never referred to the Star as the RED STAR RAG. That's Sir Hailstone. I both criticize and applaud the Star editorials and reporting. There would have to be something wrong with me if I always agreed or disagreed with what I read in the Star.

Mike, Most of the large, urban townships where there's a lot of patronage are Democratic-controlled. Yes, there are Republicans standing in the way of elimination just like the Democrats. You can bet there will be no push for the elimination of townships if the Democrats win back the Governor's office. That's a sure bet.