Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Townships Hoard $200 Million

A study by the Indianapolis Star reveals that townships collectively across the state have stashed more than $200 million in taxpayer money. Topping that list, not surprisingly, is Center Township with a reserve of over $10 million. "Marion County's Center Township, for example, started this year with a reserve of nearly $10 million, the largest in the state. But it hasn't lowered property taxes," the Star writes. Center Township Trustee Carl Drummer recently announced he is resigning his job to become a lobbyist for the state's largest law firm, Ice Miller, the same firm that has been paid hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to provide legal representation to the township.

Naturally, Drummer was unavailable for comment to the Star on his excessive reserves. The Star was able, however, to obtain a laughable quote from Marion County Democratic Chairman Ed Treacy. "People may have been wondering about that money," Treacy said. "But a lot of people may be happy that that money is there to serve people that really are going to be in desperate need for services." Yeah, like that's the reason Drummer has been hoarding that money.

Of the more than $200 million held in reserves, the Star found that at least $50 million had been specifically raised through taxes to pay for services to the poor. "The growing bankrolls are fueled, at least in part, by a system that encourages townships to collect the maximum amount of property taxes allowable every year, regardless of need," the Star says. "If townships don't raise the maximum, the amounts they can raise in following years are reduced." In some cases, townships had more than ten times the size of their annual budget in reserves.

Remember, townships are nothing but cesspools of political patronage and public graft. Party bosses bar people who believe in honest and open government from serving in township offices. It's time to adopt the recommendation of the Kernan-Shepard Commission and abolish township government.

14 comments:

thundermutt said...

Basic math: 6+ million people live in Indiana. This amounts to a "hoard" of a little over $30 per person in township reserves.

This is a distraction from the true extra cost of unconsolidated township poor-relief, fire, court, constable, and school systems in Marion County.

Wilson46201 said...

Except for 2004, Center Township Trustee Carl Drummer consistently and deliberately lowered taxes every year.

Advance Indiana said...

In the interest of disclosure, Wilson Allen had one of those do-nothing, make work jobs for political hacks in the Center Township Trustee's office for many years before retiring.

HOOSIERS FOR FAIR TAX said...

Gary, that's not a fair attack on Wilson. He had plenty to do. Not everyone will lower themselves to do the dirty work of dumpster diving.

Patriot Paul said...

that's an insult to dumpsters. Besides, maybe he was looking for some better huggies

Indy4U2C said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Indy4U2C said...

...and, Thundermutt, there is no such "extra cost" of fire, just elimination of duplicate administrative jobs as for courts, the consolidation can continue to use filing fees to pay for the Consolidated Small Claim Court, thus no additional tax. Constable functions would be performed by the civil sheriff who can charge fees for process service...and schools would eliminate duplicate administrative functions.

The end result, Thundermutt, is that those of us who pay TAXes would pay less and be better served.

Indy4U2C said...

Remember: Townships get their TAX money from property owners. There are far fewer property owners than there are population...which means, Thundermutt, your math is wrong. For an accurate portrayal, you must divide the surplus by number of taxpaying property owners, not the population.

Downtown Indy said...

Imagine if Carl Drummer had lowered taxes even more, to the minimum they honestly needed to be?

Why did he pay out the LEAST of all townships while raking in and accumulating the most money?

thundermutt said...

Let's say for argument's sake there are 2 people per household in Indiana. Each household pays property tax either directly as an owner or indirectly as a renter.

So the "hoard" is $60 per household. About enough for a tank of gas and a dinner out.

It's minimal, and a distraction from the true benefit of full consolidation of township government: elimination of unneccessarily duplicated overhead.

I agree with you Indy4U2C, and I'm not sure you get that.

Douglass said...

It's not time to eliminate township government. That just puts more power into fewer hands. Go to the meetings and keep tabs on these people. Rally your neighbors to help you hold them accountable. Then run against these people in the next election.

Indy4U2C said...

Sorry, Thundermutt, your math is wrong. Consider that one taxpaying property owner could own an apartment complex with over 500 units, each unit could have 2 or more people....bottom line the math is wrong.

It is time to eliminate the corruption, nepotism, and waste that is "Township" government.

Indy4U2C said...

...and public housing agencies across the state house hundreds of thousands of non-taxpaying people.

Concerned Taxpayer said...

"...and public housing agencies across the state house hundreds of thousands of non-taxpaying people."

And these non-taxpaying people will now get a TAX REFUND CHECK from "The One."

Aren't we all just so proud!