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Indiana House Democrats and Republicans are blaming each other over the death of a bill that would have codified Governor Mitch Daniels’ property tax assessment caps into the state Constitution. House Joint Resolution 1 would have capped resident property tax assessments at 1 percent of a home’s value, 2 percent for rental property and 3 percent for commercial property.

However, HJR-1 was pulled when Republicans offered a number of amendments to it.  Democrats say the amendment that killed the deal was one that would have eliminated residential property taxes. They argue that the elimination of residential property taxes was not part of the Governor’s plan and such a formula was unworkable. And they had to protect the integrity of the process and stop Republicans from destroying the Governor’s plan.

Meanwhile Republicans say the elimination of residential property taxes was part of their 10-point property tax reform plan. And they argue the Governor said the elimination of residential property taxes was a fine idea if they could make it work. And the GOP said their plan would have reduced property taxes by 75 percent in four years. They say House Speaker Pat Bauer does not want a Constitutional amendment on property taxes.

Despite these two stark contrasts, there are two things both sides agree on.  First, the Senate has a version of the same bill. Second, both sides proposed the amendment banning same sex marriage which had nothing to do with the death of HJR-1, contrary to what has written in the blogosphere.

  • M

    Both parties have one main goal: to keep as much of the property tax money that comes from you the taxpayer. The games are meant to upset you, alienate you from unification with fellow citizens, and make you think they are doing you a big favor. Question is, are you all going to keep focused on making a lot of noise with each of the members of the legislature.?

  • http://diana-vice.blogspot.com/ Diana

    Follow the money. It talks.


  • BigRic

    There was no marriage amendment attached to this bill, which the Dems were counting on.

  • Jon G

    To M….You bet we are going to keep focused and make noise. What the politicians don’t understand is that we get more unified and more focused with every stupid stunt they pull. Remember, they think we are their children and we aren’t smart enough to see what is going on but believe me, there are lots and lots of people from all over the state that are watching them very closely and as in last November’s election in Marion Co. we will make a change.

    By the way the Mayors inaugural ball was an amazing thing last night, what an historical event.

    Hey M, don’t be afraid to join us, it’s not just “you all” it is “all of us” that will make a difference in May.


  • Proud Indy Resident

    School districts are like congressmen. Everyone hates everyone else’s but theirs.

  • Shorebreak

    Property taxes, city bond ratings, bond insurance, and the credit crisis. The following piece regarding national economic woe’s could just as easily be about Indianapolis property taxes and the city’s downgraded credit rating. It’s an eye opener:
    Here’s part of it:
    “Ambac and MBIA (and to an even greater extent Security Capital Assurance, Ltd.) are two bond insurance companies whose credit ratings were infamously downgraded in recent weeks. Moody’s cut Ambac’s credit rating from AAA to AA. Just today, CNBC reported that further ratings cuts are in the works for these companies as the problems associated with the bond insurance business appear to be “much worse” than previously thought.

    A bond insurer’s primary line of business is to insure bond issues by municipal and other local governments. The insurer guarantees to the buyers of the bonds that the governmental entity in question will timely make its interest and principal payments. That way, the municipalities get to take advantage of lower borrowing costs (interest) as such guarantees make their bonds more attractive in the open markets.

    The reason Ambac, MBIA (and to an even greater extent Security Capital) have suffered these downgrades is that their cash positions became shaky when large portions of their reserves had to be used for payouts on their various policies.

    That means their customers – municipalities and other local governments – were defaulting on their scheduled payments to bond investors. The point in time when this started happening strangely but meticulously coincided with the implosion of the subprime lending market and the metastasis of the subslime cancer to other parts of the global body economic: June-July of 2007.

    Now, what could make municipal governments unable to make their scheduled interest payments on issued bonds? What is their major source of income?

    Property taxes.”

  • MissouriDemocrat

    Did anyone hear Brian Bosma try and explain how good it was that his members can’t follow his parties governor on Greg Garrison this morning? Garrison is always saying the democrats are not a party of ideas and are Marxist Socialists, but when it comes to accepting responsiblity for how his party does stupid stuff like put Gay Marriage on a Property Tax bill he is at a loss, then when Bosma offers his explaining…. all on board.

  • Robert-NW Side

    IF there was any amendment in the property tax bill that didn’t actually relate to the property tax, it was unconstitutional.

    From our Indiana Constitution:

    Article 1 Section 25. No law shall be passed, the taking effect of which shall be made to depend upon any authority, except as provided in this Constitution.

    Aticle 4 Section 19. An act, except an act for the codification, revision or rearrangement of laws, shall be confined to one subject and matters properly connected therewith.

    Articl 4 Section 20. Every act and joint resolution shall be plainly worded, avoiding, as far as practicable, the use of technical terms.

    Article 4 Section 22. The General Assembly shall not pass local or special laws:
    …Regulating county and township business;
    …Providing for the assessment and collection of taxes for State, county, township, or road purposes;
    … Providing for the support of common schools, or the preservation of school funds;
    … Section 23. In all the cases enumerated in the preceding section, and in all other cases where a general law can be made applicable, all laws shall be general, and of uniform operation throughout the State.

    Article 8 Section 1. Knowledge and learning, generally diffused throughout a community, being essential to the preservation of a free government; it shall be the duty of the General Assembly to encourage, by all suitable means, moral, intellectual, scientific, and agricultural improvement; and to provide, by law, for a general and uniform system of Common Schools, wherein tuition shall be without charge, and equally open to all.

    Article 8 Section 2. The Common School fund shall consist of the Congressional Township fund, and the lands belonging thereto;
    The Surplus Revenue fund;
    The Saline fund and the lands belonging thereto;
    The Bank Tax fund, and the fund arising from the one hundred and fourteenth section of the charter of the State Bank of Indiana;
    The fund to be derived from the sale of County Seminaries, and the moneys and property heretofore held for such Seminaries; from the fines assessed for breaches of the penal laws of the State; and from all forfeitures which may accrue;
    All lands and other estate which shall escheat to the State, for want of heirs or kindred entitled to the inheritance;
    All lands that have been, or may hereafter be, granted to the State, where no special purpose is expressed in the grant, and the proceeds of the sales thereof; including the proceeds of the sales of the Swamp Lands, granted to the State of Indiana by the act of Congress of the twenty eighth of September, eighteen hundred and fifty, after deducting the expense of selecting and draining the same;
    *** Taxes on the property of corporations, that may be assessed by the General Assembly for common school purposes.
    Hmm….nothing AT ALL about taxing the property of private residential homeowners.

  • MissouriDemocrat

    Robert thank you for the lesson in constitutional law, but my question is this….. do you think the idiots in the legislature can read that or care what it says. The amendment I was talking about is in all the news, etc. about trying to add no gay marriage to the property tax cap bill the governor wanted. These republicans are so obsessed with gay marriage that sometimes I think they do protest too much, in short they are like Larry Craig…. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised to hear Eric Miller himself was in some restroom stall in an airport or department store somewhere. He is more obsessed with homosexuals than rapists and murderers. That kind of hate is what is killing this nation. He needs a big massive chill pill and kick in the ass. As long as both parties tolerate his kind, then this state will never achieve the kind of progress we could achieve as a united people.

  • Taxpayer 74375

    This is the same foolishness as earlier amendments by Senators Lawson & Young, and Representatives Bauer & Crawford. It appears the common ground for this tightrope of taxing and spending as financial institutions list and creak below us, is in bearing down the middle of the common ground of what the Governor, Kernan-Shepard, Kenley’s group, and the taxpayers want. That means we can’t allow obtuse deviations like zeroing out residential taxtation, permitting some township government but not all, and increasing earned-income tax credit. There may never have been, nor ever will be a better time to abandon “politics as usual”.

  • Source?

    MissouriDemocrat…where do you see that the marriage ammendment was going to be added onto tax cap bill. That can’t be done in Indiana. There was no attempt to add that onto the property tax bill. They were two separate issues.