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Say Hello to My Little, Make that Really Really Big, Tax Increase

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.

  • Wilson46201

    You are mixing up and confusing apples and oranges and kumquats. Yes, residential taxes will be increasing but commercial taxes will be decreasing. You are also mixing up income taxes and property taxes. Those COIT increases dont get paid on a property tax bill. Trending is a neutral factor with no particular effect on the actual taxes paid. There will even be tax decreases by the arrival of the slot-machine rebates. Renters wont see any increases until the landlord ups the rent.

    Yup, there will be increased taxes to be paid but it will not be a grand single expense to be paid all at once by everybody. The effects will be staggered in time. Your posting is a lot more inflammatory than the reality will be.

  • Abdul

    Sorry Wilson, you don’t get to do that here. When most Marion County taxpayers get their bills there will be blood in the streets, and that came from a Democrat.

    And that bogus rebate check won’t do you any good today, because the government wants its money NOW.
    And renters will pay more in income taxes!

    Say hello to the revolution my friend, it’s here!

  • Wilson46201

    … and your advertisers with large inventories will see their property taxes decreasing, especially “big-box” stores, auto dealers, home-improvement stores, etc …

  • Pike Voter

    Yup, there will be increased taxes to be paid but it will not be a grand single expense to be paid all at once by everybody. The effects will be staggered in time. Your posting is a lot more inflammatory than the reality will be.

    Posted by Wilson46201 at June 24, 2007 04:32 AM

    4:32 AM – Jeeeez – get a life !

  • Pike voter

    OK – 2 hour time difference so it was 2:32 AM when he posted. Maybe we should send wilson some ambien ?

  • Disgusted Taxpayer

    Indiana General Assembly needs to prioritize which public servants are paid well with our tax dollars for the services they provide. If our elected officials can give large tax abatements for(prime real estate) to large corporations on a regular bases without the approval of the taxpayers, they can have these same corporations contribute funds to our school systems similar to TIF, tax increment financing. These companies are getting a free ride for 10 years of paying no taxes for the land in the community which helps to decrease the amount of property taxes collected.

    In order for a corporation to receive tax abatements, they must agree to contribute to a fund that will help to defray the cost of public education. The formula would also help to educate and prepare future employees in the community over the long term.

    The same group of millioniares complain about the cost of welfare benefits to the poor, but the rich receive millions in tax dollars to expand their businesses. (corporate welfare) They reap the profits for their stockholders and investors.

  • Wilson46201

    The time differential works in the opposite direction than in Pike Township seemingly – I commented at 6:42am Center Township Time. Maybe Pike people are just so desperate to quibble that their arithmetic gets all confuzzled?

  • Jay

    School systems, esp IPSSchool systems, esp IPS< already receive way too much money, over $9000 per student per year. The plan to pump hundreds of millions of dollars into infrastucture improvements in IPS is a waste of money beyond belief, that will only benefit the construction companies. You know, people like Bart Peterson and Monroe Gray, who own pieces of construction cos.

    I’m anti-IPS and anti-TIF. The first is a resolute failure, the second puts eceonomic decisions into the hands of politicians.

  • Wilson46201

    A 10-year tax abatement works out to only a 50% ‘discount’ over those ten years. It starts off with no taxes paid the first year and then they keep increasing it 10%/year until it reaches 100% and then stays there.

    TIF’s are the nasty tax schemes – those go on forever as a general rule.

  • Jason

    Well, a friend of mine in Wayne Township got his tax bill and his went up about 40%. I would say that qualifies for blood in the streets status. From what I’ve been told Wayne Township is especially going to get hit hard since generally speaking their housing is cheaper and they got a lot out of the inventory tax.

    You know, I thought I heard recently that Marion County had the highest foreclosure rate in the nation. Gee, I wonder why. Maybe the inept politicians in charge might have something to do with it. My housing assessment has been screwed up since I bought my house, I’m frightened to see what my ‘new value’ will be.

  • Bill Brown

    Wilson! you are an idiot!and also a damn democrap!

  • Wilson46201

    I dont believe any tax bills have actually been sent out in Marion County yet. The tax bills are to be preceded by notice of tax reassessments. The tax rates have NOT been calculated and/or released so the fiscal impact of reassessments cant be seen yet.

  • Wilson46201

    Let’s stick to facts and discussions about taxes & assessments — leave unproductive name-calling and distracting insults to the ignorant trolls !

  • Becky

    The taxes have been calculated but there is a problem in Center. It’s just as bad as Abdul says it is. And no the tax statements or bills have not went out yet.

  • Anonymous

    Becky, what kind of problem in Center?

  • Anonymous

    There will be no revolution.

    Americans no longer have a clue what liberty, independence, or limited government means. People will complain, some will gripe, and some will moan. At which point the government will appear to listen and they’ll reduce the 40-60% property tax increases to 20-30%.

    The sheep will declare a great victory while the wolves walk away with the spoils.

    There’s been a paradigm shift in this country over the last several decades. American citizens in urban area’s and in large suburbs have shifted their understanding of government from a necessary evil to a belief that government is and should be a solution to our problems.

    Once government becomes our primary source for life’s solutions, the individual has lost his/her primacy and we’ve returned to a “top down” heirarchy rather than a system ordained and regulated by the citizens. Government no longer cares what we think – they know that too many of us see them as savior.

    So there will be much talk. There will be the appearance of a solution. But in the end, the government will take more of our money while the people claim to have defeated their plans. Real revolution won’t happen unless people wean themselves from government dependency. That’ll never happen in cities that are run like Indianapolis.

  • Disgusted Taxpayer

    Mayor Peterson has given away the city to millioniare developers over the past 7.5 years. Calculate the number of tax abatements he has approved and you will find that it adds up to more than $200 million. (corporate welfare)This type of government subsidy seems to be aceptable to uninformed voters.

    Tax and spend democraps are forcing the working poor to pay for their reckless spending with no benefits to the average citizen.

    It is time for a change in leadership in the city.

  • Disgusted Taxpayer

    Mayor Peterson has given away the city to millioniare developers over the past 7.5 years. Calculate the number of tax abatements he has approved and you will find that it adds up to more than $200 million. (corporate welfare)This type of government subsidy seems to be acceptable to uninformed voters.

    Tax and spend democraps are forcing the working poor to pay for their reckless spending with no benefits to the average citizen.

    It is time for a change in leadership in the city.

  • Anonymous

    Say hello to the revolution my friend, it’s here! – Abdul Hakim-Shabazz June 23, 2007

    There’s a Congressman / GOP Presidential candidate who’s 100% behind the revolution. A breath of fresh air, to say the least, if he can stay alive until November ’08:

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4710607797448605118&hl=en

  • Melyssa

    Adul? What can be done to force accountability for how our money is spent by city hall bureaucrats?

    What should be done to push an agenda to have an audit to first find where we are wasting money or misusing taxpayer money for political “juice” instead of doing what is best for the people they supposedly serve.

  • Bumpu Johnson

    Go to the site where the Indy Star has posted salaries and check out all the folks on payroll at the Capital Improvement Board (CIB).
    Now there is one agency that has absolutely NO oversight at all but takes tens of millions of your tax $$$.
    Throw the Bond Bank in as well.
    Both of these groups are running under the radar.

  • Jason

    Wilson, in regard to my earlier post, my friend’s wife works for an assessors office so she must’ve had some kind of ‘inside’ scoop.

  • Anti-Wilson

    Before the Marion County Property System website went down the other day, I checked my bill. I live at 52nd and Keystone (roughly) and mine went from $661 per year to $1224 per year. For those of you who can’t do the math, that’s roughly a 50 PERCENT INCREASE!!! My home is in a predominately blue collar neighborhood where a pretty good percentage (40+) of the people are elderly and retired. There are about 5 vacant homes and the rest are rental properties. Not owned, like mine. I have less that 750 square feet of home with a detached one car garage. I bought the house 5 years ago in July for $78,000. It is now valued- without benefit of any improvements- at $93,500. I went onto MIBOR and did a search of available listing and the only one that really comapred to mine was newer (about 5 years, built in 1945) and had 200 square feet more than mine listed for sale at $85,000. It was my understanding (and Abdul, I’m counting on you if I’m wrong to let me know)that the “trending” process was to bring assessed values more in line with market value. If that’s the case, I’m protesting my assessment. The Washington Township Assessors office (my inquiry was handled very well by a completly NICE man) told me that the problem was that the homes in my area don’t come up for sale as often and that in setting the numbers, they have to broaden the search criteria taking into account homes with higher values in Broad Ripple and Meridian-Kessler. There WILL be blood in the streets Abdul, your friend was right. Well all be LIVING in the streets and taxing an already overburdened system of charitable and philanthropic enterprises. If anyone thinks they’ll be getting a “rebate” from the government, read the article in today’s IBJ about the problems going on at the horse tracks simply trying to find the money to pay for the $250 million dollar licenses this whole cotton-pickin’ thing is based on. Even Luke Kenley called it a “house of cards”.
    As for Wilson, well, put down whatever the Party has given you to smoke and back away slowly.

  • Shorebreak

    FYI, Anti-Wilson, that increase is just a hair shy of 100%. $991.50 would be a 50% increase.

    But don’t worry – the police will be on hand at your local assessors office to make sure that the people remain subservient to the masters.

    If I were a LEO I’d hand over my badge before I enforced this abomination. This is no longer a game – lives are being destroyed. Enforcement of irresponsible legislation or ordinances is a violation of the oath sworn by every peace officer to protect the public. Let Bart and Sweet Pea show some balls and face the people on their own.

  • Anonymous

    Amazing how the Lucas Oil Stadium’s $500 million budget has ballooned to $720+ million since it was announced in February 2006.

    Especially when the Convention Center Expansion was originally getting 50% of their $1 billion budget. The convention center expansion continues to decline into a smaller hollowed out warehouse.

    http://www.bizjournals.com/losangeles/stories/2006/02/27/daily12.html

  • Anonymous

    Anti-Wilson
    Think about this. When all of the senior citizens on fixed income begin to loose their homes due to high property taxes. Millioniare real estate investors and developers will be on hand to buy up all of the prime pieces of real estate especially in the heart of Center Township.

    This was part of the city’s long term plan for the old city limits. Mayor Peterson has lied to his constituents.
    Vote him out!

  • Anonymous

    Anti-Wilson
    Think about this. When all of the senior citizens on fixed income begin to loose their homes due to high property taxes. Millioniare real estate investors and developers will be on hand to buy up all of the prime pieces of real estate especially in the heart of Center Township.

    This was part of the city’s long term plan for the old city limits. Mayor Peterson has lied to his constituents.
    Vote him out!

  • Anonymous

    Anti-Wilson
    Think about this. When all of the senior citizens on fixed income begin to loose their homes due to high property taxes. Millioniare real estate investors and developers will be on hand to buy up all of the prime pieces of real estate especially in the heart of Center Township.

    This was part of the city’s long term plan for the old city limits. Mayor Peterson has lied to his constituents.
    Vote him out!

  • Anti Wilson

    Shorebreak,
    Thanks for the correction- product of IPS I guess. Now I’m even more furious about it!

    Isn’t it a sad state of affairs when the tax people, who for the most part are working and facing the same increases, have to be “protected” from the taxpayers?
    Voting them out might be a solution but how do we know that the new people will be any better? I sent emails to all the state legislators and congresspeople as well as my representatives of the CCC, I received zero response. I will have to get a second job in order to pay for this increase along with the one for the water company, COIT, gasoline and energy. I don’t live high on the hog, I don’t but this is an absolute travesty with no workable solution. First, the Mayor won’t deal fairly with the police and now he and Frank Anderson expect them to protect the government against the very people who pay thier salaries. The state legislature is a joke and if we think those “rebates” are coming and will reduce our tax burden, we should all think again!

  • Bumpy Johnson

    I had to rub my eyes, shake may head and then spit coffee over today’s story that armed guards are needed in the township assesser’s offices to fend off pissed off taxpayers.
    Folks, this is without precedent in any state in any city in US history!

    My solution would be to place the property tax issue on a ballot initiative and have it voted on by the citizens of Indiana. A simple yes or no vote on whether or not to abolish the property tax. The tax money will need to come from someplace else but I would much rather see an increase in the state sales tax as an example.

    We are truly in trouble when law enforcement has to be called in to keep the assessers from being strung up by agry taxpayers.

  • Shorebreak

    Anti-W,

    When the leadership are wearing no clothes, they tend to stick to the shadows. Don’t expect them to respond.

    Some people say that this is a form of slavery – forcing the citizens to work longer and harder in order to satisfy an incresing tax burden – with little or nothing to show for it.

    In the case of Indianapolis this is further exemplified by the obvious shift in revenue sources from commerce to the individual citizens. That’s the crux of the issue here, and it’s the reason that the taxpayers aren’t seeing a benefit from the surge in tax demand.

    In reality, the tax benefit to the cities and counties won’t change significantly. It’s simply being shifted away from businesses and onto the backs of the people – by a government that now operates in a heirarchical “top down” manner rather than a government whose representatives feel Constitutionally bound to represent their constituency.

    People tend to blame the voters for the problem, and to a certain degree they are correct. At the same time, our media fails to bring these issues to the forefront – with the exception of individuals like Abdul. The Indy Star should have had banner headlines for a week stating that our government had transfered a hefty tax percentage from businesses to the voters.

    They didn’t do that. They failed to perform with journalistic integrity. As a result, to this day most people don’t understand the nature of this tax problem.

  • I hate Bart

    “And renters will pay more in income taxes!”

    Abdul – When the increase in property taxes hits the owners of rental properties, who do you think will pay for that increase in property taxes?

    The renters. Hang on rent is about to go skyhigh.

  • Wilson46201

    That legislative shift off of inventory taxes onto homeowners was done by Governor Mitch Daniels and his Republican Legislature merely doing the bidding of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. Your precious GOP votes at work! The Republican sheeple get so easily distracted by gay-marriage and gun control while big business has its way at the Statehouse…

  • Jason

    Wilson, wouldn’t it have made more sense to gradually increase the property tax rate, at least giving people on fixed income a chance to cash in some CDs or get an annuity (or maybe sell a kidney) to pay for it? Quit being dumb, you want to blame everything on Republicans.

    That’s why so many people are miffed at the administration these days. There’s such a lack of leadership and a surplus of finger-pointing. Guess what? If you are the mayor or a CCC and it happens under your watch, YOU are responsible for it. IF you don’t want to take responsibility for it, then YOU shouldn’t have run in the first place. Quit making excuses, daggum!

  • Jerry

    This isn’t about the inventory tax or other tax relief for businesses, especially small businesses. Small businesses pay WAY too much in taxes, even after the tax relief, trust me.

    This is about Indianapolis spending too much money, too many social welfare programs, and no concern for the voters as they will get re-elected next year anyways. Regardless of a 100% tax increase. Don’t you love the voters in Marion County?

  • Melyssa

    Ok, now everyone sees where apathy in regard to government leaves us.

    We CAN stop the next tax increase which comes in the form of a county tax. You will be hit up for several hundred more dollars each year if this gets approved.

    Call your council people (except Monroe Gray who doesn’t return emails or phone calls) and attend the meetings with pitch forks if you have to do so!

  • Max

    Democrats are in the majority in the Indiana House. The Indiana House Ways and Means Committee is chaired by Rep. William Crawford (D)from Marion County. Funding and budget issues were under the watch of Rep Pat Bauer (D) Speaker of the House and Crawford, not Gov. Daniels.

    Wilson46201 as usual you won’t admit Indiana taxpayers got screwed this time by the Democrats in the General Assmebly.

  • You go Max!

    Max,
    Poor Wilson already drank the Kool Aid. Somewhere I thought I read that he said he helped design the website for Julia Carson. Well, in that case, he’s just as incompetent as the rest of his politician lovin’ pals…I tried to send an email to the Congresswoman from that web site about how bad property taxes were, begging her to use her “influence” with the Indiana Democrapic party to get us some legislative relief and the dang thing got returned because the email address listed in the “Contact” section was invalid.
    Here’s what we should all do. Accept the bills and immediately go to the appropriate assessors office to file a protest. That frickin’ system is already 9 months behind according to my assessors office. Pay the bill, collect whatever sad little rebate they try to send, send it to your bank to offset the rise in your payment that will result from a negative escrow. Do your homework. Don’t simply say to them “the tax is to high” tell them why. Compare homes that have sold and homes that are for sale to yours. Make them prove to YOU why your house is worth $15,000 more than it was last year. If they don’t agree, appeal thier ruling to the Tax Board. Go to the DLGF website, they tell you how to do it and provide links to all the forms. Mire them in paper…make them EARN your tax money. Then, once this has faded in people’s memory, in November VOTE. Write in your dog if you have to. This has ceased to be a Democrat or Republican issue. They both stink! There is NO guarantee that we will even get a rebate. The legislature would rather focus on gay marriage (already banned by the Indiana constitution) and thier big fat pay raises than truly trying to serve the public. The next thing should be term limits for every single publicly elected official from Pat Bauer to the County Dog Catcher. All of them shouldbe voted OUT. They got elected and now it’s time they should GO!

  • Wilson46201

    The shift in inventory tax was not made this last session but in the previous sessions under the ‘leadership’ of Your Man Mitch and Brian Bosma. Blame big business lobbyists getting their way with their GOP Legislators.

  • Wilson46201

    I said I did the website for Julia Carson back in 19961996< - its been rewritten by others since then. Which of her 2 websites has that allegedly malfunctioning Email address? I'll see about getting it corrected ...

  • Jerry

    I am very confused why the inventory tax is being discussed here. I assume Wilson was replying to Max, who never mentioned the inventory tax. For what it’s worth, the only other tax that is similar to the inventory tax….the death tax.
    You’ve already been taxed once, so let’s tax you again. Both taxes do not make any sense and it was about time we got rid of the inventory tax. The Dems would have NEVER done it, as they rarely see a tax they don’t like.

    This has to do with BUDGETS and SPENDING. Neither one of the these two highly important issues can be handled by the Dems in a conservative or logical manner.

  • Jason

    Wilson, I’m assuming you’re getting your information from Amos. Let me tell you what he didn’t tell anybody for fear it might place blame on democrats: Indiana was losing jobs hand over fist because we were one of, if not THE, last states in the whole country to have an inventory tax.

    You can whine and blame Republicans for Democrats’ short sightedness, that’s fine. Either way Peterson’s been in office for what, going on 8 years? When is he going to start taking responsibility? How many terms does he have to serve before it’s HIS job to ensure the fiscal solvency of his city/constituents? After looking at how the library expansion was handled, how could you possibly in good mind leave the entire stadium under the mayor’s control?

  • gary

    I FEEL SORRY FOR THE SENIORS WHO WILL FEEL THE PAIN ON PROPERTY TAXES, ALOT WHO WERE IN THE SERVICE WORKED HARD AND COULD LOSE THEIR HOMES.IS THIS STILL THE AMERICA I GREW UP IN 69 YEARS AGO JUST WHAT HAS HAPPEN TO THE POLITICANS GREED AND ALL ABOUT MONEYWHERE IS THE COMPASION FOR OUR CITIZENS