I caught a lot of flack a couple weeks ago when I wrote that Marion County residents were going to have to pay about $170 million in new taxes because property tax increases, Mayor Bart Peterson’s public safety tax and increases in the county option income tax. I was told I was wrong. I was engaging in wild speculation. And some people even told other bloggers my numbers had no basis in reality.
It’s no big secret that taxes are going up. And my critics are right, the $170 million in new taxes is not the right number, but I’m living in the real world more than they are because after doing some research over the weekend, it looks like Marion County taxpayers could be staring down the barrel of a tax increase that’s at least $200 million.
Take a deep breath, I’ll still be here.
Welcome back. That’s right, at least $200 million in new taxes are about to hit the doorstep of every man, woman, child and hermaphrodite in Marion County. How did I get to that number. Easy. The Mayor is asking for $85 million for public safety + $15 million comes from an increase in the County Option Income tax + another $49 million comes child welfare payments the County has to make + a loss of the inventory tax which is being shifted over to residential taxpayers + a loss of revenue from property tax replacement credits + the trending which includes several years worth of assessments = at least $200 million in new taxes.
Marion County officials know this is coming. They got their budgets approved last Friday by the Department of Local Government and Finance. When asked to produce the new tax rates, they say they are working the glitches and make their figures are correct. However, County sources have confirmed that taxpayers will be hit with larger tax increases than anyone had anticipated. One official who asked not to be named said “there will be blood in the streets once the tax bills hit the doorsteps.” But as another government official put it “there are going to be a lot of double-digit increases.”
I take no joy in being right, but I just think it’s funny that the same people who told me I was wrong and that the bombs that were coming weren’t going to be as bad as I made them out to be will be the first ones burned at the political stake when the taxpayers rise up and storm downtown with their torches and pitchforks!
I look forward to the apology that I am due and the chaos that is about to ensue.