Monday, July 02, 2007

Fourth Of July Tax Protest Planned

Advocates for the Fair Tax are holding a 4th of July protest at the Governor's residence at 46th & Meridian from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Americans for Fair Taxation are organizing the protest, which is intended to promote replacing the property tax with a sales tax. Proponents of this plan say it can be accomplished without an increase in the sales tax rate. While I'm all in favor of shifting away from property taxes, I'm having some problems with the proponent's math at this point. I'm assuming they plan to extend the sales tax to cover everything, including services, in order to accomplish this. Advance America's Eric Miller is proposing a constitutional amendment to repeal property taxes in Indiana. Do you think he will join the protest at the Governor's residence?

I just found out my property tax bill has been hiked 67% from $2,400 to over $4,000 annually. This is appalling when you consider my home's assessment increased by a little over 25%. That tells me I'm paying higher taxes because spending by our local units of government in Marion County is completely out of control. This problem can only be corrected if we throw out the current failed leaders who've been running our city-county government for the past 8 years. Mayor Peterson's and his Democratic-controlled council's answer is to double your income taxes and provide no property tax relief. He wants you to believe the failure of the legislature to allow him to consolidate more local government functions is to blame for your higher tax bills. Yet, he can't point to a dime in savings from the consolidation of IPD and the sheriff's department after he promised us millions in savings. You must pay more because he chose to erode our tax base with give-aways to his wealthy real estate developer friends, shifting the tax burden to those least able to pay. You know what his priorities are? What are your priorities? Please feel free to comment on your own tax bills. Please indicate in which township and neighborhood you live.


indyernie said...

I had the displeasure today of doing business in the City County Building.
I did met couple of nice people while sitting around the Assessor’s office and I learned a thing or two.

1. I was lucky to be one of the first to record a property deed since the laws changed July 1st.
I had to visit three offices to get the deed filed. The County Assessor, the County Auditors office and the County Recorder. A simple function that used to take fifteen minutes is now two hours or more and I was told that this is standard operation procedure from now on.

As I sat biting my tongue, which isn’t easy for me to do, I had a conversation with Pat. Pat works for a title company. She brought three transactions to be filed and left with two because of the new requirements. During our conversation we came to the conclusion that title companies will have to charge more because these new procedures which will tax the time of closing company employees.

2. Marion County leadership and Mayor Peterson want to raise property taxes higher. The State has already raised our taxes to a point where folks are considering selling their homes. An influx of homes for sale on a current market that is already a buyers market will do nothing but lower the value of all homes in Indianapolis. If you do get lucky and sell your home the closing cost will be higher because if these new procedures.

3. Instead of dropping two quarters in the parking meter as I did, park on Dennison's lot.
These new procedures will take longer than before. Thanks Officer 412 for the parking ticket. You didn’t you see my “BART LIES” bumper sticker did you?
I’m not complaining about getting the ticket. I told Pat that I would probably get one. I am going to complain about what is printed on the back of my $20.00 dollar ticket. This disclosure only proves my point.
“Indianapolis uses ticket payments to make the City a better place to live, work and visit by putting police on the street and keeping city streets and sidewalks clean, well maintained and well lit.”
What a bunch of B...S...! I have the proof that BART LIES and its right on a city issued document.

Can you say thanks Democrats? Thanks BART?

garyj said...

Sucks about the ticket, Ernie. I think something that "Americans for Fair Taxation" forgot is that Mitch doesn't live at 46th & Meridian. It's not good enough for him.

The problem lies within the county governments. A friend of mine from Morgan county got his bell Saturday, he went from $490.00 a year to $493.00. He's not too upset. I haven't gotten mine yet.

Bart did a fine job in makingthe operation smoother, huh?

indyernie said...

My building on Washington Street went up about $900.00. I'm looking forward to paying that bill.
I haven't received the other bills yet.

Gary R. Welsh said...

If you can identify the percentage increase in the tax bill, that will help give us a perspective on the extent of the increases.

Anonymous said...

Indy Ernie - do you have 90,000 pennies ?

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm Melyssa and a Fair Tax Volunteer and one of the event organizers.

We don't want people to think this is a protest. It is a press conference by The People and for The People.

We're asking the Governor to take a deep look at the economists' plan to implement The Fair Tax in Indiana. We're also letting the Governor know we will bring the economists and experts to Indiana meet with him.

So far this is the only well researched and viable solution presented to our government that is backed by economists on both sides of the aisle.

Because, as Matt Tulley pointed out in yesterday's column, our legislators dropped the ball on We The People, The People are going straight to the Governor which is within our rights to do.

Actually, it is our obligation to do this for our state and for our country.

I spent all day yesterday bicycling around Meridian Kessler, Broad Ripple, and Butler Tarkington talking to residents about their tax crisis and the press conference/rally. Everyone I spoke with is so excited that someone is finally pushing this issue. The people I met in my neighborhood WANT this...they ACHE for reform!

The Fair Tax is truly bi-partisan and fair to all.

Thanks a bunch Gary for helping us get the word out!

P.s. Nancy & Ronald Reagan did not live in the California Governor's mansion either.

Wilson46201 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wilson46201 said...

The Council was firmly Republican until 2003. The County Treasurer was Republican until 2 years ago. The County Assessor and Auditor were Republican until last year. Only the Democratic Mayor has been in office for about 7 years. Don't be so quick to holler about 8 years of Democratic control of the leadership of this County. It ain't so!

Anonymous said...

I live in Lawrence township. My property taxes went from $715 per half year to $880 or 24%. This on a property assessed at $129,700. Though this is not as bad as many, it still hurts. And with the proposed income tax, I am considering taking a loss, selling and moving to a doughnut county.

indyernie said...

"The Council was firmly Republican until 2003. The County Treasurer was Republican until 2 years ago. The County Assessor and Auditor were Republican until last year. Only the Democratic Mayor has been in office for about 7 years. Don't be so quick to holler about 8 years of Democratic control of the leadership of this County. It ain't so!"

"It ain't so!"

Nice choice of words Wilson.
We stand corrected.
We will "holler" about seven years of control.

Wilson46201 said...

Indpls doesnt work like George W Bush and his rubber-stamp Congress used to do where "The Decider" told his Republican legislators how to vote. The GOP controlled the City-County Council until 2003 with full budgetary and taxing authority. They blocked a number of Peterson initiatives. Most County officials were Republican until quite recently. Like I said before: there was NO such thing as Democratic control for the last 8 years in Indianapolis. Partisan exageration is so unconducive to civilized discourse...

Anonymous said...

Check out for the Mayor's inaction, causing many of these tax increases.

Anonymous said...

Wilson, I sent this to Jen at TDW first. After thinking about it I realized that it’s more to your taste.
I know your taxes are going up like everyone's, and with you being on a fixed income and you being a blood sucking democrat. I thought you might be comfortable in a nice new home. Here’s the link.

Anonymous said...

Bad news and Worse news.

Got my bill today.

The BAD news is that my property taxes went up 28% ( over $700 per year ).

The WORSE news is that my assesed value did not change at all.

So ALL of the 28% increase is due to higher TAX RATES not because the value of my house had increased at all.

I know that the houses in my area ( 62nd street in Pike ) have a hard time selling even in an addition just 7-8 years old. A nice 2 story house took over a year to sell. I know of at least one house that is listed as abandoned via the Indy Gov web site. I would bet others are in foreclosure.

Pike Voter

Anonymous said...

If 6:15, the Pike Voter is correct that they live in Pike off 62nd Street, and that the value of their house "stayed the same", that means NO change in assessed valuation and deductions, there is NO WAY their taxes went up 28%!! The tax rate for 6:15's area is Pike/Outside the Indpls consolidated city, in 2005 the tax rate there was $2.7859 per $100 assessed valuation. The 2006 tax rate (what we're all paying now) is $2.9074 per $100 assessed valuation. Assume the property's assessment is $200,000. Assume the property had the same amount of deductions. The gross tax (before all state/county mandated deductions) for 2005 would have been $5571.80. For 2006 gross tax would be $5814.80. That's an increase of just 4.36%. While property tax is a big train wreck, it's hard to examine people's complaints when there are so many difference hetween taxing districts in the county; between whether people complaining took all their legal deductions off their assessed value, etc.
If we're gonna compare, lets compare apples to apples; not apples to cement mixers.

Anonymous said...

Warren Township - IPS

Gross Ass- 99,900 up from 89,100 (12.12%)

Net Ass - 51,900 up from 49,100 (5.7%)

1/2 year tax - 725.65 up from 524.50 (38.35%)

Rate 4.0420

My taxes generally have gone down over the last ten years; the highest tax I had paid previously was about $610 in 1999. The house was purchased for $78,000 in 1998.

Anonymous said...

Butler Tarkington--
AV up 26%
Annual tax up 68%

Anonymous said...

Every nice neighborhood in the city has been hit hard--real hard. If your taxes did not go up much, it is probably because you live in a declining neigbhorhood where crime is high and it's not a good place to live. The strategy of the Democrats is to drive out the good people so the entire city can be overrun with gangs and welfare dependents.

Anonymous said...

City of Lawrence, 59th and Sunnyside,
AV up 10%,
Net AV = 0% increase ($10,000 increase in homestead exemption took out increase in AV%),
Annual tax up 10%
House built in 1998

Anonymous said...

This problem can only be corrected if we throw out the current failed leaders who've been running our city-county government for the past 8 years.

I disagree. All you are going to do is throw out old people who promise everything and elect new folks who promise everything. The fact is, this country is in a current state of blissninnie wonderland. People _want_ their Roman coliseums, they _want_ their city parks, they want their tax-payer funded blockbuster, I mean library, they want want want want want.

If you want to really save money, close the parks, or at least some of them, for the summer. Don't mow, don't spray for weeds, just bare bones maintenance on the buildings. When it comes to the library, slash and burn. Get _out_ of the DVD rental business. Force schools to look like plain buildings. There is nothing wrong with a square or rectangle building. We don't need 15 different shades of brick color. We don't need fancy entry ways. We don't need swimming pools, football stadiums, and fancy basketball gyms.

Gary R. Welsh said...

The solution is very simple. If the local taxing districts want to increase property taxes, they have to put it to a vote at a referendum.

Anonymous said...

As much as I dislike our local leaders, you can't blame them for everything. The State Legislature repealed the inventory tax and didn't replace it with anything. The hundreds of millions of dollars that thousands of businesses in the county were paying to support local government is now being paid by homeowners. Even if City County Council had decreased spending, our taxes would have gone up.

Anonymous said...

My family lives in Center Township. More precisely, we live on North Dearborn Street between Washington Street and New York Street. By most accounts, we are in a declining and crime ridden neighborhood.
The assessed value of our home increased by $17,000 even though home values are declining here.

Our property tax increased by 65%

Tax Rate 2005: 3.5964
Tax Rate 2006: 4.0867
Tax Rate Increase: .04903

2005 Tax: $623 a year
2006 Tax: $1,029 a year
Increase: $406 a year

On a percentage basis the poor neighborhoods, the ones least able to afford a tax hike are getting hit as much, if not more, than the wealthier ones.

No, I'm not angry at all that the new condo owners downtown don't have to pay ANY taxes for 10 years because the Mayor gave them abatements.

Anonymous said...

We live in washington township at meridian and 62nd. Our annual taxes went from $3200 to $5850 -- an 82% increase! You can also look at it as a $200/month increase in our mortgage payment that will in no way be offset by the app. $240 rebate check that may or may not be received next spring sometime.

Anonymous said...

My taxes went up $1600 per year and I feel I got off "lucky".

The government has now tapped me for an extra $1600 to pay for their waste and I have no choice if I want to keep my home I've invested in restoring.

Property taxes are threatening the very life blood of our community and families.

Marion County is in seriously deep trouble with the people. But this is what the people get for doing little to nothing to stop it.

It's time to take to the streets. I'll be at that rally on the 4th.

Gary R. Welsh said...

I say we raid the $11 million Carl Drummer has stashed away in a slush fund and return it to the property taxpayers of Center Township where it belongs. We can do that right now and not wait until next spring to help the over-burdened homeowners of Center Township.

Anonymous said...

Property taxes are threatening the very life blood of our community and families.

The coming burn-off will be glorious. Too many Americans have taken the unalienable rights of Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness to extreme levels. These simple rights were that folks were allowed to live life and have a basic government to protect, not provide, those rights. However, a vast majority of folks think government (or someone) should be providing life, liberty, and happiness. Therefore, we get medicaid, medicare, the idea that one should work 30 years and then be able to do nothing in 'retirement', the idea that if you have a bastard child (or two or three or four) then we should provide you a tax-payer funded apartment/condo, parks, NFL/NBA/MBL/NHL coliseums, buildings used for private business, etc. etc. etc..

I wonder how this will affect disposable income spending. Our local coliseums and gathering spaces are being funded by food and beverage taxes. Well, I could see a huge drop in eating out, which could really impact the budget of these projects.

Anonymous said...

Gary I agree. Drummer sitting on this money is a slap in the face to every property owner in center township.

Anonymous said...

20 years ago, I moved from Baltimore MD, in part due to unaffordable property taxes. I now live in Washington twp. My taxes have increased 160% since last year (as have my neighbors). I am now paying five times what I did in 2002. Most of my wife's after tax income will be consumed by our property taxes this year.

My councilman, Monroe Gray has not returned my call (or anybody elses from what I understand). Neither has my State Senator. Somebody from Mr Peterson's office talked with me and blamed the state legislature. The state legislator I talked with blamed Peterson.

It won't make any difference to the people losing their homes or moving out (like I saw happen in Baltimore) who "wins" the current political crap-fight. I just don't want to be the last residential tax-payer left in Marion county

Anonymous said...

We have multiple rental properties in the Wayne TWP. The two bills I have received so far reflect a 50% & 55% increase, with NO assessment increase. We have experienced the property taxes increasing 300% since 2002 and have seen no local benefits as a result of the additional money.

Unfortunately we must pass on the increase to our tenants who will struggle to cover the additional $50/month. None of them will benefit from a new library, fancy schools or a new stadium. I would much rather they put the $50/mth into health care for their families, but instead they will have to continue to use Medicaid, which we'll just end up paying for.

We have traveled to many places outside the US and seen how destructive the current mindset of continually increasing the taxes and selling off assets such as the power company can be. We're beginning to spiral down just like many other countries.

Perhaps a large turnout at a public demonstration will help, since communication to our legislators isn't. We'll see you on the 4th!

Anonymous said...


Up 89%

To pay for pothole stricken streets that haven't been repaired, sidewalks that are cracked and a school system I wouldn't send my children to.

Anonymous said...

Is there a group already formed to continue this tax protest? I live in Elkhart and would be all too happy to get people involved here...that's all I hear about every day...these taxes are conpletely unfair...

Anonymous said...

All local and county governments in the state of Indiana have excess funds invested in the stock market where they rake in Billions in profits and interest paid every year. They hide these funds from public view and don’t like talking about all the cash they earn and hide it all from an ignorant public but you can check on this by reading through the Indiana Comprehensive Financial Report. The latest one on-line that I have found is for 2003. But they have the 2006 edition available for public scrutiny at the State Treasurer’s office.

Use Google and search for CAFR and for Walter Burien CAFR. Indiana Government is rolling in Billions of excess cash and can run the entire state without your property tax.

Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports Information for the State of Indiana:

The State of Indiana, according to the 2003 CAFR, has at the State-level approximately $11.73 billion of the taxpayer's money it is not using, i. e. surpluses equal to $1,904 for every man, woman and child in Indiana or $7,615 for a family of 4. This does not include all the additional surpluses that exist in the school districts, cities, or counties in Indiana.