Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Kenley Panel Focuses On Stop Gap Measures

It looks like the Kenley Commission is busy looking at stop gap measures to deal with the state's property tax problem, which is the only way our legislature seems to be capable of dealing with these sorts of problems. Sen. Luke Kenley (R) wants the Governor to tap the state's surplus to provide additional tax relief to homeowners without any help from lawmakers, using the ridiculous rebate idea conjured up by House Speaker Pat Bauer. The Governor's budget director wants to create a circuit breaker program to target additional relief to homeowners. And Rep. Bill Crawford (D) was just worried about whether homeowners were going to get a rebate check in the mail. "If you don't get your check, blame the governor, not us," Crawford told the panel.

Governor Daniels' circuit breaker plan is intended to limit the amount a person's property taxes increases by tying it to a percentage of their assessed valuation. That cap would not be uniform, however, throughout the state. As the Star explains it:

Kitchell told the state Commission on Tax and Financing Policy on Monday that under Daniels' so-called "circuit breaker" plan, targeting the relief would in effect result in homeowners' bills going up no more than a set percentage of assessed valuation, with the amount differing by county.

In most counties, he said, increases would be held to 1 percent of assessed valuation. In Marion County, the amount of relief would in effect limit bills to about 1.6 percent of a home's assessed value.

While about half of the state's homeowners would be given a break under the plan, Kitchell said, about a third of homeowners in Marion County would see some kind of relief.

The Governor's folks might want to read the Indiana Constitution. "The General Assembly shall provide, by law, for a uniform and equal rate of property assessment and taxation and shall prescribe regulations to secure a just valuation for taxation of all property, both real and personal," reads Article 10, Section 1, if it makes any difference. Note to lawmakers: If you still think we should go forward with the "rebate in the mail" scheme, you haven't moved forward in the least bit since you concluded one of your most embarrassing sessions in the history of the state.


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

As much as it pains me to agree, Eric Miller put on a very good presentation last night. His plan looks good. The place was packed with his flock. If he can keep his homo hatred out of this, I'm going to support him.

I even made him sign one of the "WE THE PEOPLE" T-shirts. He acted like he didn't know who I am.

What has Kenley offered that is making any difference so far? He's like one of those government circle talkers.

Anonymous said...

Does anybody in government even want to talk about a reduction in spending at the local level? When will they recognize that the are treating the symptom and not the disease?

Shifting the burden from property (i.e. wealth) to income and/or sales isn't necessarily the right idea either. I certainly don't think it's going to attract non-entitlement people, i.e. producers, to Indiana.

Anonymous said...

This particular statement always cracks me up:

"Governor Daniels' circuit breaker plan is intended to limit the amount a person's property taxes increases by tying it to a percentage of their assessed valuation."

Oooooh. So all they need to do to get around this is increase your property's assessed value to get more property taxes out of you. Duh!

Marion county isn't the only county with property tax issues although the majority of the attention is being focused there.

For example the Centre township assessors office in northern Indiana basically ONLY increased assessed values of homes that had recently sold. Yeah, how about that for getting their job done and calling it a day. This means that an identical house of comparable value across the street has an assessed value as much as $30,000 less and more in some cases. Do you think this gives the property owner with the lower assessed value an unfair market advantage? Heck yes.

Melyssa, Eric Miller is a snake. He will never let his anti-homosexual agenda die. The property tax issue is just giving him an opportunity to gain political capital.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 8:44 you raised some excellent points. The State is SPENDING TOO MUCH MONEY! Hello!

This is a state Democrat AND Republican problem. The Republicans have been in gross control of the senate for eons and the Dems have a slight margin of control over the house. They can’t get the job done!

I think shifting from property to sales would be fairer than shifting to income I pay enough income taxes already. I do control my spending however when I need to. But you are right, our state and local leaders are spending too much money. And I must say that I don’t see squat in my community for the money they’re taking.

Stop Gap Measures will not work.

Anonymous said...

This entire problem began, or was at least made much worse, with just such a measure in 1973.

Then-Gov. Bowen promised "property rax relief." He doubled the sales tax, and dedicated a huge chunk of the increase to the "Property Tax Replacement Fund." To ensure legislative approval, he mandated a message go on every prop. tax bill, which stays to this day: it oulines how much the legislature's PTRF "saved" you.

That sugar teat came from a Republican country doc. It was political and tax hocus-pocus unworthy of conservative Republican ideals. It was bound to be an incentive legislators would never let go of; lo and behold they haven't.

Putting more temporary money into property tax relief is not the answer. Never was, never will be. The answer is complete reform.
Like trying to ween a drunk from alcohol, it only delays solving the real problem. Our government needs to go to Tax AA meetings, starting now. Cold turkey.

There has to be a 12-step program for this kind of tax dependency.
Kenley's smart. He'll get it.

As for Eric Miller, 8:57 is exactly right. He's a charlatan at best. Off with his head.

Anonymous said...

Say, Gary, whilst driving west on Kessler late this aft., I saw a yard sign that had a charicature of the Mayor, said something like "Bart & Co." and "assessments" (emphasis on ass...)

I was driving 25 in crowded traffic, and the sign was unreadable at close distance.

Could've been effective. Yard-sign designers take note. The words are too small.