Sunday, July 01, 2007

It's All About Property Taxes

There's plenty of information in today's Star about the skyrocketing property taxes homeowners are feeling this year in Marion County. Here some items of note:


Wilson46201 said...

An interesting observation made elsewhere is that while property taxes pay for the cost of urban life: police, schools, fire-protection, libraries, etc, how do your property taxes compare to your sky-rocketing healthcare costs? I'm amazingly healthy yet I pay 6 times as much for my subsidized health insurance (which I hardly use) than I do for my modest property taxes.

Anonymous said...

If that doesn't make you ill, see Michael Moore's new movie, Sicko. Saw it yesterday. Amazing.

Anonymous said...

The problem Wilson is that urban "life" pays for things that are not needed: Roman coliseums, libraries, parks, etc.. No one needs any of these things to live. However, one does need health care. So since health care is so important, maybe it is time to use some smarts and cut money for parks, grown men playing kid games, and libraries and put that money toward health care?

What I want to know is how assessments are up in a down housing market?

Thankfully I don't live an "urban life." Losing my home because I can't afford my taxes due to health care costs, income taxes, etc. wouldn't be much of a life in my book!

Eventually, it will be a lot less stressful to live life like millions of layabouts and bums in this country. Quit your job, give the bank back your home. Apply for food stamps, Section 8 vouchers, etc. Go work some part-time, min. wage stress free job. Work some side jobs for cash, so you have money for "treats" such as going to the movies, drinking, smoking, junk food, etc.. If you don't feel well, head to your nearest ER. Have as many kids as you want, others are there to feed, cloth, house, and educate them. Much less stress than worrying about making enough money to pay the bills.

Anonymous said...

Regardless of who we think is really to blame in all this mess,the bottom line is this. When are we, as taxpayers, going to hold all these governmental agencies, school corp, etc responsible for free reign spending? Where is all this extra money really going? Until this current administration really shows it is willing to trim the fat from the top down, Im not sold on ANY tax increase.

Gary R. Welsh said...

As a self-employed person who has to pay for my own health insurance, I simply stopped going to the doctor. I have insurance for catastrophic illness, but with a $2,500 deductible, it's just not worth going to the doctor any more. The charges are outrageous, and I don't feel the visits are worth it. I self-diagnose problems as much as I can and look for natural remedies as much as possible (that's all the dirty little secrets the greedy health care industry doesn't want you to know about). I consider myself one of those persons who don't have the luxury of being sick so I just avoid it--to the extent any one can. As near as I can tell, the modus operandi in the health care industry is to find every patient chronically dependent on some medication for some made up problem so you can keep them coming back and keep racking up health care bills

Anonymous said...

I have the same situation with my health insurance -- covering only catastrophic illness costing ~$550.00 a month on top of a $2,800 annual deductible -- which basically means preventative care is out of the question. Absolutely, learning and living a healthy lifestyle (via using public libraries and city parks) is important to quality of life and longevity... However, so too is diagnosing disease (many which carry an uncontrollable genetic link) at a treatable/curable stage.

That said, I agree with the observation that most folks are over dramatizing the property tax increase compared to the silence on real life and death issue... and that's not even considering that most property owners have been grossly under-accessed for decades.

Anonymous said...

My New Year's Resolution four years ago was to stay away from the health care industry. Then cancer struck. And I was in up to my eyeballs.

I got tremendous care. I have insurance, but still, the out-of-pocket, charges above "normal and customary," and deducitble, plus insurance arguing over some bills, may bankrupt me.

That "normal and customary" thing is a huge fraud. My insurance paid 80% of the normal and customary charge on some expensive procedures. My leftover 20%, plus 100% of the above-normal-customary, amounted to tens of thousands.

And you wanna know who's the worst to try to collect? The Catholic hospitals. Sisters of Charity, indeed. They're ruthless.

It puts it all in perspective. My property taxes went up 29%. And I happy? No. Will it end my life? Absolutely not.

My priorities have changed. Call me crazy, but they have. It takes a lot more to get me worked up now.

I do resolve to do what I can about my taxes--attend more meetings, learn more about governmental budgets, etc. Maybe I can make a small dent.

But all this hyperbole, this "Bart Lies," and assorted nonsense--it's just so much politics.

And I don't vote solely on one issue. I look at all of them.

kj46256 said...

I don't accept the statement "the average tax bill is 34% higher than last year's bill. Just wait until you receive your bill as I think you would be very pleased if if were only 34% higher. My tax bill is 134% higher than it was last year (that's double plus 34%). I believe I will be typical from everything I have heard.

The assessment values may in fact be correct yet I have no idea how they were calculated. No assessor has ever been here. The year the property was built is wrong, but I fear a challenge would only raise the assessment so I'll let well enough alone.

Am I happy about the bill? No! I don't have children in school, never have and never will, I don't have city water or sewer and I don't have sidewalks or a safe place to walk or bicycle. I also don't have access to public transportation. I do have fire and police protection, I hope.

I buy my own books or get most information from the internet. I am still unsure about the new Central Library. Who is it for? At least we have a billion dollar airport under construction, a $500,000,000 or so stadium for 8 football games a year, new hotels for visitors, new convention center for visitors, and one of the highest residential foreclosure and individual bankruptcy rates in the country. We can be proud of all Indianapolis and Marion County offers our visitors, our football team and its owner, and the library-goers.

I worry about healthcare too. If not for the billions spent and billions wasted in Iraq, we could all have healthcare at least as good as our Congresspeople. Priorites are so mixed up. I don't know who to thank for our property tax bill, but I have to believe the state legislature is totally at fault. All the time wasted by the Senate and the House listening to SJR7 was a disgrace. Why not fix real problems rather than legislate who to deny equal rights to and what to write on license plates. Enough rambling-you get my drift I'm sure.

I may not have equal rights thanks to the fundamentalist right wing, but I do pay plenty of taxes. I suppose everyone could simply move to a more welcoming state, but then, who would pay for the schools, libraries, stadiums, fire, police and legislators' salaries?

Anonymous said...

Lift Every Voice
By Abdul Hakim-Shabazz
As the tax bills have come in and local lawmakers debate raising your taxes, I've been asked how local citizens can get a hold of their elected officials and voice their opinions. Here are some numbers you can call. All in the 317 area code.

Patrice Abdullah - 262-8953 or 965-5133
Paul Bateman - 547-3139 or 327-4242
Phil Borst - 787-5323
Rozelle Boyd - 327-4242
Vernon Brown - 501-6880 or 327-8645
Virginia Cain - 823-2640
Bob Cockrum - 856 - 5549
Lonell Conley - 547- 6652 or 545-1318
Susie Day - 787-2417
Sherron Franklin - 327-4242
Ron Gibson - 562-1556
Monroe Gray - 297-1155 or 327-6773
Scott Keller - 637-1829 or 443-6399
Lance Langford - 356-7249
Dane Mahern - 506-2707
Angela Mansfield - 872-3306 or 413-6868
Lynn McWhorter - 387-9078
Mary Moriarty Adams - 359-6940 or 690-6606
Jackie Nytes - 370-6184
Bill Oliver - 546-7467
Marilyn Pfisterer - 244-7156
Lincoln Plowman - 557-7594
Cherish Pryor - 327-4242
Ike Randolph - 216-9555
Bob Lutz - 241-4020
Joanne Sanders - 283-6040
Scott Schneider - 845-1815 or 849-4466
Mike Speedy - 786-6689
Ryan Vaughn - 327-4242

By my rough guestimate, if there was a vote to raise your taxes today it would pass 16 to 13. Voting "yes" would be Abdullah, Bateman, Boyd, Brown, Cain, Gibson, Gray, Keller, Langford, Mahern, Mansfield, Moriarty-Adams, Nytes, Oliver, Pryor and Sanders.

Voting "no" would be Cain, Cockrum, Day, Franklin, McWhorter, Pfisterer, Plowman, Randolph, Lutz , Schneider, Speedy and Vaughn.

It is important you contact your elected officials and let your voices be heard about the state of financial affairs in Marion County and whether you prefer less spending, more taxes or some combination of both.

And for the record, this information was all pulled off the Council's own webpage. I did not put up any more personal information (although I have it in a big file) about these elected officials than what is already available to the public.

Let your fingers do the walking, it's a snap.

Anonymous said...

1:38 PM - If you liked "Sicko" so well why don't you pack your bags and move to Cuba.

And take that Wilson with you.

Anonymous said...

1:03, try decaf. It is calming. You're obviously on edge.

Sicko is a great movie. Too bad you're wound too tigiht to enjoy it and learn from it. Cuba has a nice climate, but it's not for me, thanks.

Anonymous said...

"1:03, try decaf. It is calming. You're obviously on edge.

Sicko is a great movie. Too bad you're wound too tigiht to enjoy it and learn from it. Cuba has a nice climate, but it's not for me, thanks. "

Michael Moore is Goebbels in a ballcap. Sicko, like the rest of his films, is nothing more than inflamatory schlock stiched together with dishonest editing and elision. Don't belive me? Read this, if only to balance things out.

Oh, and another random thought - 34% is an average increase. Some will be much higher (like the 134% above). Some will be lower - saw on the news some people's only went up 8%. Sure sucks to be on the high end though.

Anonymous said...

34% is an average. Which means, some will be 200% higher, some will be 25% lower. That's kinda what the word "average" means.

Again, you need decaf.

And, I'm perfectly well-versed in health care procedures, and media propoganda. I can sort through hype and facts. Moore's movie has much, much more of the latter than the former. I'm, unfortunately, a frequent flyer in this wacked-out system. So my knowledge is first-hand. Yours?

I will say Moore is kind of a walking heart attack. He seems to get bigger with every film.

kj46256 said...

I certainly understand the concept "average." I also know that figures lie and liars figure. I simply do not believe the incompetent bureaucracy when it is they who are responsible for computing the average. What I'd really like to understand is the tax rate. Mine is for tax district 400 and is 2.9750. How did that number become the taxing multiple?

Anonymous said...

"That said, I agree with the observation that most folks are over dramatizing the property tax increase compared to the silence on real life and death issue"

Everyone is born with a life. The problem is, life is not a "right." That being said, when folks have been raised via a certain lifestyle, slamming them with more and more "bills" can cause much more problems than any health care issue. If you want the biggest and best health care, you have got to pay the piper. If you just want basic accident ER care, get rid of the various cancer and heart hospitals and watch health care costs drop drastically. You can't have a specialized hospital for every illness and expect things to be cheap.

However, when those who have insurance and are healthy start loosing their homes, loosing their cars, watch their kids suffer, things get real ugly real fast. We all have an expiration date. More and more, too many people are forgetting that. Like Wilson is quick to point out: If you don't like something, you are always free to move. Wilson says if you don't like government and taxes, move to Afghanistan or Somalia. Well, if you don't like our health care system, move to a country that offers great socialist medicine. There are many where English is a major language: Canada, New Zealand, Australia, GB, and Ireland. Various other counties have a high % of English speaking populations.

As far as Michael Moore, Michael Moore is out for Michael Moore. When they interviewed him in his sweet, likely costly, rural Mich. house, I noticed something. For someone who I believe is single and has no kids, I saw no homeless people in the home. Surely a person who cares so deeply about people could have found a few homeless meth addicts around Detroit and opened his home to them. Michael Moore is no different than anyone else, follow the money.

Wilson46201 said...

fwiw, Moore has lost 30 lbs since his last movie -- but knocking Moore's politics because of his weight is like knocking AI because of his hairstyle: irrelevant!

Anonymous said...

It was an observation about his weight, Wilson, nothing more, nothing less. And ironic, dontcha think that he's making a movie about health care, and he's grossly obese?

And you're the last one to be making any observations about hairstyle.

11:12, you need a history lesson. All of us Americans are given the right to "life liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

Try to pay attention, huh? I know history sometimes doesn't favor your argument.

garyj said...

fwiw, Moore has lost 30 lbs since his last movie -- but knocking Moore's politics because of his weight is like knocking AI because of his hairstyle: irrelevant!

And nobody know irrevelant better than Wilson Allen.

Anonymous said...

All of us Americans are given the right to "life liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

Laughable. Humans cannot be _given_ anything. We are all born of two other humans, a male and female. We have advance IQ compared to other species on the planet. Over time, we have advanced in almost everything. Still, we do not have a unified planet. As such, various humans still control different groups of humans. This is called government, organized crime, employer rules, etc..

The same men who wrote the above text did not care about slaves. I guess using your logic, you only get those rights if your white? There are other groups of men in other countries that have written documents saying that if a woman cheats on her husband, she gets killed. Again, using your logic, this is morally ok because a group of humans wrote this down somewhere on a piece of paper.

Even using your logic, I see no where in that document does it make forcing others to provide life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Forcing others to provide for the above is actually taking away their rights. If I am continually taxed, I am not going to be able to afford children. Now my right to pursue happiness with kids has been taken away. When that time comes, it is time to just do whatever I want. I will have kids, reguardless on if I can afford them or not. That means _you_ and everyone else can pay to feed them, house them, cloth them, and school them. Of course if enough people follow my lead, we will need to take more of your money. Thanks!! At what point are _your_ rights then violated?

Anonymous said...

My property taxes went up 375% from $1600 to $6000 is outrageous! My monthly mortgage payment will increase by almsot $400!

This should be the start of a property tax revolution...

Anonymous said...

We live in Avon and I can tell you our property tax increase is rediculous. Our assessed value is 150,000. at a rate of $3.72 per $100. that is 1500 x 3.72= $5,580. last year it was $1200. This is crazy. Our house is 1586 sq ft. older ranch. We are not living above our means. We just simply can't afford this extravagant tax. Everyone needs to get petitions and hit their neighborhoods for signatures. Our county officials as well as state officials need to be inundated with letters and phone calls. and most of all of the officials from the top down need to be voted out. We need a complete overhaul of the whold system. I'm for doing away with property tax completely because if you loose your job you would still have a roof over your head.