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Tuesday, October 04, 2005

"Oh, Gosh. We forgot to mention it...

...during the budget hearings, but there will be one other little addition to everybody's household expenses coming up."

Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson announced yesterday a plan for major improvements to the city sewer system that would "nearly double sewer rates and storm water fees". This from a story by Brendan O'Shaughnessy in the Indianapolis Star of October 3, 2005. Businesses would see increases in the range of 60% to 90%.

Why wait to make the announcement until after the budget hearings have been held on the Indianapolis and Marion County budgets? The dollar that a taxpayer pays for increased property taxes or for the increased food and beverage tax is the same kind of dollar that will be paid for in increased sewer fees.

Economics is the allocation of scarce resources. Rational economic choices can only be made in the presence of all material information.

Valid point Mitch.

Perhaps the Governor should come clean on how he is balancing the state budget by cutting property tax subsidies, decreasing school funding, etc.

His plan will make HIM look good, but local entities will have to raise your taxes. The net result is still the same.
Actually, come to think of it-

Mitch Daniels NEVER said during his campaign that he was going to raise taxes- or force local government to do the same!

Why will they HAVE to raise taxes?
How does the Governor FORCE local units to raise taxes?

You rightly called the property tax relief payments a subsidy of local taxes and, unfortunately, without spending controls in place, local governments treat the property tax relief payments as a true subsidy.

Governor Bowen was adamant that the property tax relief program had two essential parts. One was the property tax replacement credit. The other were strict property tax controls. As subsequent state administrations and legislatures eroded the manner in which the original program was constructed the property tax credit became a true subsidy.

And what you subsidize you get more of.

It is local governments that were FORCING the state to come up with ever increasing sums to pay for that subsidy.

I was intending to talk a little bit more about the property tax program in subsequent comments - stay tuned.
Property taxes are a huge deal in Indiana, they keep going up, up and away.

Historically it does not matter whether the Dems or Reps are in office, property taxes go up.

It is interesting, because one thing Hoosiers are consistant on is their desire for property taxes to go DOWN.

Mitch Daniels did NOT cut State spending. Mitch Daniels DID limit the increase in the property tax replacement fund.

What is interesting is the reasons that were given for the Sales Tax increase of 2002. Do you all remeber what this increase in sales tax was for?

It was to keep property taxes under control. Ha Ha. That did not seem to work.
Sorry Mitch, I was on vacation and could not respond.

Why will local entities have to raise taxes? To pay their bills!

I also find it VERY interesting that you say:
"How does the Governor FORCE local units to raise taxes?"

Yet in the same post you say that local governments were "forcing" the state to come up with subsidies.

I think the larger point here is this: One way or another, someone is paying they bill.

High Schools in Fort Wayne are cutting TEACHERS! Extra-curicular activities have been slashed. True, they are not part of the three R's, but isn't school about expanding the horizons of children?

This is from the Indiana State Teachers Association Website:

Yet Challenges Remain
Public School Spending Has Declined: Public education spending per pupil has declined in Indiana. Since 1999, per pupil spending in constant dollars has declined 2%. ESR and DEE

Schools Need Major Repairs: Indiana school buildings need major improvements. Twenty-nine percent (29%) of Indiana schools have a building that needs extensive repair or should be replaced — 29% have bad plumbing, 29% have poor ventilation, and 67% are in unsatisfactory environmental condition. Thirty-two percent (32%) of Indiana schools lack power outlets and wiring to accommodate computers and multimedia equipment in classrooms. ASC

Read the full post here:

So what do you expect schools to do?

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