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Read This Story: What The Guv's Tax Plan May Mean For Marion County

Abacus The Indianapolis Business Journal explains how the Guv's tax plan will affect those of us who live in Marion County.

"As legislators prepare to overhaul the state's property-tax system, Marion County’s future hangs in the balance.

"Indianapolis residents—particularly in the city's older, urban core—already pay far higher taxes than their suburban counterparts. And they arguably get less bang for their buck. Census figures show many people believe Marion County's neighbors offer a better product at a discount. Crumbling schools and dangerous streets are a tough sell.

"Changes on the table could make it an even tougher one.

"'We need to make sure that the heart of the region continues to pump blood throughout the region,' said Roland Dorson, president of the Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce. 'The heart has to stay strong and healthy. It's very important that Marion County not be disadvantaged in all this.'

"Property taxes are the primary source of revenue for local government, which builds schools, paves streets and hires the police to patrol them. According to an analysis by the Legislative Services Agency, Gov. Mitch Daniels' restructuring plan would force Marion County to slash $100 million in services in its first full year—or to raise local income taxes high enough to generate the equivalent. The eight 'doughnut' counties would have to cut just $39 million combined.

"Disparity across central Indiana could increase over time. Daniels' plan ties future spending increases to each county’s personal income growth over a six-year average. That would favor wealthy suburbs like fast-growing Hamilton County, whose 6.9-percent income growth rate is the highest in the region, well above Marion County’s 4.2 percent.

"'You're going to have a real crisis in Marion County if the governor's plan goes into effect,' said Beth Henkel, former commissioner of the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance, which oversees property taxes. 'Will it cause people to continue to move to the doughnut counties? I think so.'"


Oh, shut up. You Liberals cheered when a billion dollars was taken out of the Indy tax base to pay for the Colts' new palace.

There's just not enough money to pay for everything, and now Ballard wants to spend more taxpayer dollars to bring a Super Bowl here.

How is Ballard different than Bart? Just what is government supposed to use the taxing power to fund?

You can't cheer the Colts' stadium and then lament when the average Indy dweller has less and less to buy the #1 Value Meal at McDonald's.

If you wanted to show your caring-for-the-ordinary-guy credentials, which is what the Dems are supposed to be about, the time to do that was when Bart and Mitch were figuring out new ways to sock it to the average Indy citizen to pay for a stadium to which he cannot afford tickets.

I don't know what the Dems stand for, anymore.

the superbowl bid was paid for with private dollars and will bring millions to indy if we land it
you seem fixated on the stadium and that's all
there is alot more to think about than that

...and The Stadium tax was Mitch Daniels deal.

This is exactly what Mitch wants. Look, the guy refused to live in Indianapolis. He knows where his big donors live. They don't live in Indy or any of the small communities he drove his RV through. People outside Indianapolis often claim that state government is all about Indianapolis. Simply not true. In the case of the current administration and legislative leaders, it's all about Hamilton County and the other suburban communities where the big donors live.

Area charitable contributions would likely go down under the Guv's sales-tax replacement plan, too. If property taxes are substituted with sales taxes, many folks will no longer benefit from itemizing their returns. Without itemization, a huge incentive to donate is gone.

oh, well then, let's not try to fix anything. you guys are f^%ing pathetic status quo socialist whack jobs. seriously, what they hell would you propose. let's hear some ideas for once from your absolutely floundering party. there is no soul left in the D party, just spite and empty pandering.

Oh, Mitchie's gonna fix those of us who live in Marion County, all right. You don't give a fiddler's damn, though, do you 10:20, as long as you're fat and sassy living in Republican heaven outside Indianapolis. Just let us peasants eat cake!

"'You're going to have a real crisis in Marion County if the governor's plan goes into effect,' said Beth Henkel, former commissioner of the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance, which oversees property taxes. 'Will it cause people to continue to move to the doughnut counties? I think so.'"

Then what is Beth's plan? If you do nothing, people will continue to flee to the suburbs. Google "Ruins of Detroit" to get some photos of what happens when money flees an area. If the burden of child welfare and crime is not shifted over the entire state, the wealthy areas in our urban centers will continue to get raped via property taxes.

"...and The Stadium tax was Mitch Daniels deal."

And the Marion Co. taxes were passed by Bart and the CCC.

"the superbowl bid was paid for with private dollars and will bring millions to indy if we land it"

Are you on crack?

A Super Bowl imposes millions in taxpayer obligations on the host city. Police, fire, capital improvements, sanitation, etc. The cost is many millions of dollars for every city that tries it.

Or are you talking about the bid, itself? The Kinko's bill and the plane ride? If so, you're not saying much. Any Downtown corporation would eagerly pony up for a plane ticket for the CIB in hopes of landing a Super Bowl at taxpayer expense.

Super Bowl expenses are money the city never recoups, despite some Downtown corporations, owned by out-of-towners, having a good weekend. The money just isn't there. We can think of better uses for tax dollars than to shift wealth from the neighborhoods to out-of-town bank accounts. Such practices are not good for a city's economic health.

Your comments sounds like the old joke: "How do you make a small fortune?...Start with a large one."

Sure, Indy will "make" millions from such an event. It will spend more millions to stage it.

Let's build some sidewalks. Better yet, let's just leave the money with the citizens, and let the big boys figure out how to hold their own party.

The Super Bowl bid and Ballard's handling of it is his first big test of whose side will he be on. I'd say a good chunk of Ballard's core supporters were AGAINST the city doing a bid this year. They certain won't accept another Super Bowl bid. Especially for the reason 9:03am gave. While private dollars fuels the bid, there is a major amount of public dollars that will be spent. If Ballard supports a bid, he risks angering his core supporters, including the "no tax dollars for anything but basics" crowd. If he doesn't support a bid he will anger the business and philanthropic community, whose support (and bucks) he needs to achieve his campaign promise of fixing up neighborhoods, and fight crime, and improve education and provide jobs and youth programs and fund the Front Porch Alliance without using public dollars. Ballard's in a no win situation. How he handles the Super Bowl bid issue and how he explains it, is one of his first tests as Mayor.

Here's a reality check:

Beth was the commissioner who, several years in a row, OKd the ridiculous assessment manual put in the hands of township assessors, after Judge Fisher's tax court ruling.

She had the power, and the ability, to bring in professionals and clean up that mess. So hid her predecessors at DLGF and the prior agency, Property Tax Control Board.

The ridiculous township assessor system, complete with 1,000 or more toads, has been ripe for reform for 45 years. But governors, and their appointed overseers fo property taxes, fiddled while we burned.

Judge Fisher's historic ruling, almost nine years ago, foretold the oncoming mess. The Supreme Court upheld his ruling, and still no systematic reforms. Bureaucratic controls were in place, to force township assessors into uniformity. But they let the legislature do it.

Now think about it: when did that ever work in Indiana?

After doing a little financial planning last weekend and realizing just how much it's going to cost us to put our kids through private schools, my wife and I finally brought ourselves to check out home prices in previously-taboo Carmel. It felt like shopping for a minivan - a fiscally intelligent move that would somehow remove a small part of our soul.

But I have to say, as much as I like the idea of living in Marion Co., we could increase the size of our house by at least one bedroom (which we will need once our daughter gets old enough to stop sleeping in a crib beside our bed) and about 30-60% more square feet just by moving ten miles north. Our property taxes would be significantly lower as well. And if we do, we won't have to shell out five figures a year for grade school for our kids, not to mention the college-tuition equivalent we would pay for private high schools.

Mitch is a jerk and his tax plan would make things worse, but let's not pretend that people haven't been fleeing Indianapolis for the donut counties for years now, or that Hamilton County hasn't grown dramatically during the Peterson administration. Indianapolis has a rep as a family-friendly place, but based on my neighborhood, it's a place for young couples to live until their children are school-age. Without a regional tax I don't see how that can change.

need help with this one. there seems to be a flaw in the perspective of this article. a key reason that the donut counties are growing and there is outmigration from older marion county neighborhoods is the tax rate. if you live in ips, you pay 4.04. if you live in hamilton county, you pay 1.60.

does tdw support property tax reform? it is hard to tell. most posting seem to bash proposals for change. does tdw think the status quo is acceptable? i honestly cannot tell.

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