Saturday, October 24, 2009

Tax Bill Increases 60%

I got my 2009 property tax bill in the mail today. My taxes increased $1,300 over last year's taxes, or about 60%. The Marion Co. Assessor's Office dramatically increased all of the assessments in my homeowner's association. The assessments have absolutely no relationship to actual sales and real estate listing prices for units in my building. The county could have imposed another $700 property tax on me before it would have reached the 1.5% property tax cap. Interestingly, the property tax bills are over-stating the amount we actually paid in 2007. The amount listed on my bill compared to what I actually paid in 2007 is a difference of more than $1,500. The tax bills are deliberately written to deceive property owners about their past tax bills. I guess they think our memory's are short, or we're just too stupid to figure that out. The tax bills make it appear you are paying a lot less to certain local units of government, such as the Health & Hospital Corporation. That is not true. The state raised your sales tax so it could pay property tax replacement revenues to local governmental units, like HHC, to reduce property tax levies.

I'm telling you, folks. Don't be fooled by this Wishard referendum. It is the largest proposed property tax increase in Marion Co. in modern times. If you approve the referendum on November 3, your property taxes will increase, and the amount of that increase will not be subject to the property tax cap law, which will be 1% next year on homes. If your assessment increased by any significant amount, you should appeal your property taxes. Everyone knows that home values in this county started falling in 2007 and haven't stopped falling yet. My assessment last year was actually $2,000 less than the 2007 assessment, but my 2009 assessment increased $50,000. The assessor's office obviously selectively jacked property tax assessments on homeowners who they think have the ability to pay without too many complaints. I think the office seriously miscalculated when it made that assumption.

UPDATE: Here's an interesting quote from Tom Creaser in the Treasurer's office about who benefits from the property tax caps. "According to Creaser, more than 41,000 rental property owners will see relief because of the caps, but just over 1,200 homeowners will benefit." Only 1,200 homeowners in all of Marion Co. benefit from the property tax cap law!


I know said...

When will Indiana finally get tired of the folks in power, no matter what Party, taking care of their buddies and have Indiana begin to clean up and assist the citizens instead of the friends and family?

There has been no tax revolt or tea party in Indiana when the Republicans from the highest office in Indiana down to the Assessor are all Republicans and the "R"s claim they stand for the people and throw the tea.

Gary it is time to get the people clearly out in the sunlight and the street and clean the sewers out. From the lack of freedom of speech, cover up and hiding information by the papers and the TV media to protect the powerful, the wealthy and the politicians to the allowance of all people in whatever party to let their friends keep stealing the public isn't it about time to quit omitting blog entries that call out TV folks that clearly know what the Prosecutor is covering up in white collar crime, what the Star will not report and what several lawyers in Indianapolis know what white collar crime is going on?

If the system is not opened up your taxes will go up another 50%. For instance the Indiana Legislative Committee on Gaming is investigating tax help for the Racinos and French Lick. It appears the wealthy friends who wrote their own contracts want bailed out. The $370,000,000.00 in failed bonds in French Lick will cause your taxes to go through the roof if the bonds or the contractor are bailed out.

Doesn't a contractor who defaults on financing have to relinquish their contract and the State absorb the loss? How much higher do the citizens of Indiana want their taxes to go?

You work for a living and work to own your own home by paying your way. You have chosen a profession of high stature and live by the creed. Shouldn't all the other Lawyers too?

The CIB, the Racinos, the Casino's, the Pacers and the Colts bailouts need to quit and the system work for the people or the people will be run out of Indiana by taxes no one can support.

Advance Indiana said...

The system is set up to favor the people who lie, cheat and steal to get ahead, I Know, just the opposite I was taught growing up. The only reward for honesty these days is a clear conscience.

Had Enough Indy? said...

I pored over mine yesterday. We have more than an acre of land, not that we can do much with it - it is one of those narrow lots that go on forever so the old farmstead could be sold off with maximum # of lots with few streets available. If you have one of these, you'll find your house is at the 1.5% cap and some fraction of the land is at some other cap. I have sent in a question to find out how it works.

I live in Decatur Township where the School Board has been so irresponsible as to load us up with debt. So, even though the dollar amount I send to the schools went down, it is all because the tax caps and the State taking over the operating funds for the schools are protecting me.

We MUST get those tax caps into the State Constitution.

And, you are right, the Wishard referendum and the three for school districts just add the amount on top of the cap. If you live in Perry Township, for instance, and both referendum questions pass, you could be looking at a 0.4% tax on top of your cap -- and they will be back in a couple of years for the phase II tax increase for the schools. Good luck competing with Morgan or Franklin County property.

artfuggins said...

I received my tax statement today. My taxes went up from up last year about $100. That is probably due to the increased assessment. I live within a block or two of your condo, Gary. Our values have continued to go up although very slowly and the assessment is still below market value. I am still paying $1500 less than I did in 2007. I double checked my tax records and the amount that they said I paid in 2007 is accurate. I can't wait until next year when the tax cap is lowered.

I know said...

You are so right about the clear conscience. Please do not ever lose that! You are one of the few left.

Middleboro Review said...

I live in Massachusetts and as some of you might be aware, the predators of gambling will get their public hearing at the State House in Boston next week.

I have tried to follow the situation with the racinos and posted articles as they were available.

Weren't slots at tracks supposed to produce generous tax revenues?

Any insight you might provide would be helpful.

Are there any independent reports available?

Jessie Powell
Middleboro, MA
Middleboro Remembers

Advance Indiana said...

Funny claim, art. I checked the map that shows how much property tax assessments changed in my neighborhood. If you lived a block or two from me, your assessment would have increased at least 10%.

artfuggins said...

My assessment went from $180,000 to $181,800. That is about 1% taxes went up about $100. This would be the small increase in assessment the voter approved IPS increase. I anticipated a drop but this is modest increase compared to your reported 60%. The market rate for my home is pobably $40,000 more than that in this down market. I can't complain.

Anonymous said...

Property taxes are counter-productive -- they punish socially desirable behavior like buying your own home and improving your property. They hearken back to the day when only white male property owners could vote -- and the only source of government revenue was property tax and tariffs.

I, personally, have made out like a bandit. Because of my service-connected disability rating my six month tax bill just dropped over a thousand dollars to under $300.

Can't say I feel at all guilty about "not paying my share" of a stupid, unfair system; I was a Vietnam Marine.

Advance Indiana said...

You're digging a hole for yourself, art.

Anonymous said...

If you want to live urban, there is a price to pay. The larger the urban/municipality, the more elites that want their six-figure+ cut in money per year.

You folks who live in Marion Co. have to bailout a lot of rich folks who feed at the government trough.

Stop complaining already. Just pay your "fair share" to live in the People's Republic or Marion County or move already.

artfuggins said...

Oh, no, AI...if your bill increased 60% as you claim, you are lucky to own a condo in an area where property values are rising modestly in a down market. Count yourself lucky. My condo association tracks sales in our association and sale prices are creeping up slowly and never had the down cycle dip. The only difference is that it is now taking much longer to sell than it did during the boom market.

Advance Indiana said...

"AI...if your bill increased 60% as you claim, you are lucky to own a condo in an area where property values are rising modestly in a down market. Count yourself lucky."

Are you that stupid? Did you not read my post? Property values have been declining in my building since 2007 as evidenced by actual sales and listing prices.

Downtown Indy said...

"If you want to live urban, there is a price to pay. "

The price is paying for whatever a bunch of folks who scarely know us 'regular' folk exist want to build. They ram it through in the name of 'progress' all the while explaining how it's transforming use from naptown to tinsletown.

And all we really get out of that is more and higher taxes.

Yes, the price we pay for urban living is being squeezed out eventually when taxes become unbearable.

Such a deal.

dcrutch said...

"When will Indiana finally get tired of...taking care of their buddies and...begin to clean up and assist the citizens...?"
"...hiding information by the papers and the TV media to protect the powerful, the wealthy and the politicians"
"The CIB, the Racinos, the Casino's, the Pacers and the Colts bailouts need to quit and the system work for the people..."

'I know' DOES know. The enemy is us. Our complacency, lethary, and expecting those we elected to serve the average citizen without further vigilance has failed -miserably. We may have a chance, perhaps the lone chance for quite awhile, if we get off the couch, write, call, protest, email, vote, register other people to vote, and generally exercise what's left of our freedoms to change our course.

A good start is a 'No' to the hospital referendum. A next step is actively supporting candidates of character who are more concerned about fiscal reality than getting reelected. Anybody who thinks our property valuations have gone up does not seem attuned with fiscal reality. Further expansion of government entitlements on any level does not seen attuned with fiscal reality. A zillion page tax code allowing off-shore tax havens, a high-end cap on social security contributions, attempted democratization of the Middle East, and duplicity in military infrastructure doesn't seem attuned with fiscal reality.

We have to elect people that are willing to tell us that we have to do with less, and more importantly throw out the ones that will not. When we're left with poor choices, we have to vote for the "mediocre" candidate instead of pouting on the sideline and allowing the candidate without a clue of fiscal reality to be elected. Any current example come to mind?

Are we ready to do these things for the sake of our children and our old age?

Stop Indiana said...

Understand & don't take my word for it, these are caps in name only. Does anyone notice, they don't work (caps, referenda, etc.)?

What's not to get? You can't cap a variable!!! "Trending" opinions on the history of value known as assessments, aren't capped, so why are people clamoring for caps? Ask your favorite mathematician or economist to explain- don't take my word for it. This is knowable, so why not dig in and KNOW IT?

The only solution to property taxes (which are not some great truth or irrefutable fact of life) is elimination & replacement. Some messes you eliminate by cleaning up & disposing of them. It ain't rocket science; unless you're building rockets.

In 2006 the GA voted to eliminate property taxes. We don't elect & pay them to entertain us (not to mention they lack the resume), so what ARE THEY DOING?

Property & property taxes are paid for with after tax dollars, ideally converted to equity; NOT DEVALUATION. Government at all levels is out of control. We need some fast & furious flipping of seats, in favor of citizen centered, Constitutionally focused, public servants.

I know said...


You are absolutely right. The citizens in mass need to take back the system instead of listening to politicians tell us what we need or what their friends need and we need to bow to it.

Some of us have buried lawyers with mound and mounds of verified and double verified corruption to the highest levels of the political spectrum in Indiana and when the State Legislature got it all several times they avoided it every time.

The mess Indiana is in will not straighten out until the sub committees and committees of Special State and Local Appointees gets cleaned out and the friends and family plan get sent home due to their complete failure to represent the citizens of the State.

It is all out their in front of Representatives, Senators, the Star, TV media many times over and the folks in control shut everyone up.

Hundreds of millions of dollars are gone from public contracts and the State and Local folks in charge are ultimately responsible. The lawsuits against individuals to shut them up have been proven to be out of line and they still carry on their reign in the kingdom of Indiana Politics.

When the funds run dry of the state coffers, the rainy day funds go away again, the loans and bailouts pile up and default who will be there to clean it up so our children do not have to?

Politicians, many lawyers, Judges, Special Appointees all need to decide what their legacy will be. Jobs leaving Indiana, Hospitals supporting State Universities wanting bonds from taxpayers, wealthy folks defaulting on state contract bonds, wealthy friends taking in politicians to live with them that the wealthy avoid sales taxes all need to look in the mirror and decide where they will go when they have to answer to the laws of the land.

The citizens of Indiana need to charge them to answer to the laws we all live by everyday, don't we?

Advance Indiana said...

We thought we had someone who spoke for us when we elected Greg Ballard. He turned over the keys to the city to the very self-serving insiders we sought to oust from control of our local government. It was nothing short of the worst betrayal in Indianapolis political history by a politician.


I delivered letters to 200 homes in my neighborhood that had their assessments increase as high as 40%since the 2007 re-assessment.

This time instead of protests, I am using a consulting team. They did an analysis of my neighborhood and determined that because a couple people fixed up houses and they sold for more, that everyone's house drastically increased in value.

If anyone needs a referral to consultants who will help you with your appeal, please contact me.

We tried to tell you in 2007 that the property tax caps were a trick. Marion County fell for another government shell game.

Mely's Rugs said...

I hope none of you put stock in Aaron Smith and his Watchdog Indiana List. He is in the tank with the politicians and has been for some time now.

He's singing the praises again for the tax caps which have brought no relief to me or my immediate neighbors and do not protect us from ever increasing subject property assessment increases.

Many of us saw our property assessments for 2008 go up by $30,000 to $50,000.

Last I checked, the economy tanked in 2008 and property values declined.

Had Enough Indy? said...

It is true that a tax cap won't entirely fix the property tax problems as assessed values will change. But the tax caps will hold down the taxes in any case.

A couple of points here -- the assessed value is supposed to follow market value. But it is the market value about 2 years ago because of the need to gather and distill that information. So, the current downturn in prices should just begin to hit the AVs for pay-2010 and be full on in 2011.

Also, the reason fewer homes are hitting the caps for pay-2009 is the large increase in deductions by the State (line 2b for those following along at home).

I say, keep the caps, but also root out the problem - overspending for debt by our school districts, overspending by municipalities on things like the CIB and ICVA, and unequal sharing of all tax revenues between the state and local governments.
Until you get rid of property taxes altogether, keep the tax caps as some, albeit limited, means of controlling the hit to homeowners.