Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Local Homestead Credit Review Commission To Begin Its Work Tonight

The City-County Council created a commission to review the pluses and minuses of eliminating the local homestead credit.  That commission begins its work tonight with a meeting beginning at 6 pm in the Perry Township Educational Center.  While a hectic schedule is posted, no other locations are yet listed.  The commission will meet tonight and tomorrow this week, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday next week, and a final meeting on June 24.

You will recall that the Council balked, first on a bi-partisan basis, then on a partisan basis, to eliminate the homestead credit during last year's budget season.  As part of the budget blackmail resolution, the homestead credit was agreed to be studied.  Of course, one cannot be sure if the findings of study were also agreed to at that point or not.

I understand that members of the commission and representatives of the various taxing units have been made aware of the schedule.  I was surprised not to see anything in the paper this morning, or previously, to make the public (who actually pay the taxes) aware of the meetings.

The commission is composed of 10 members - two co-chairs appointed by the Mayor and Council President, four Councillors appointed by the Council President and the Council Minority Leader, one representative of MIBOR appointed by the Mayor, one representative of all schools, municipal corporations and other taxing units appointed by the Council President, one County Commissioner appointed by the Council President, and one person appointed by the City Controller.  For those who track such things, that brings it to 5 Ds and 5 Rs.

Interestingly enough, of the 4 Councillors on the panel, none come from Washington Township, which will see the highest dollar hit to taxpayers, should the homestead credit be eliminated.  The 4 are Bob Lutz from Wayne, Jack Sandlin  of Perry, Frank Mascari whose district straddles Center and Perry, and Vop Osili whose district straddles Center and Wayne.  These districts are basically all south of 30th St.

Below is a map of the County, color coded by parcel, for the dollar increase in 2014 property tax bills, should the homestead credit be eliminated.  This type of map was presented during last year's debate, as well.
If the homestead credit were eliminated, 100 percent of homestead properties in Center, Perry, Pike, and Washington Townships would see an increase in their property tax bill.  69% of homestead properties in Warren, 64% in Wayne, 53% in Lawrence, 33% in Decatur, and 8% in Franklin Townships would see an increased tax bill.

Last year we heard the outrageous claim that the homestead credit benefited the rich over the poor.  Well, the data again this year, demonstrate that to be false.  Of the 47 taxing districts in Marion County, 11 would see no change in tax bills for either a $100,000 or $200,000 house.  In 23 of those districts the tax bill would rise more for the owner of a $100,000 house, and in 13 taxing districts the bill would rise more for the owner of the $200,000 house.

Hopefully soon, I can link to the information sent out to members of the commission and representatives of the taxing units.  Unfortunately, that information is not yet available to the general public.


Anonymous said...

you talk a lot about how many people's bills would rise, but not at all about how much they would rise, which would seem to be a significant part of the argument. Could you expand on that?

Had Enough Indy? said...

That level of detail needs to wait until they provide a link to the data. Generally, by taxing unit for those seeing an increase, it hovers between mid-$20s to mid-$30s for $100,000 homesteads.

For the $200,000 homesteads, again generally, when there is an increase, it hovers either in the teens or in the $70s.

There are many aspects also beneficial to note, like the circuit breaker hit to schools, that I brought up last year and will bring up again this. But, it is easier when the data are readily available to the public for their review.

We have an ordinance, enacted a few years ago, that allows taxpayers to volunteer extra taxes should they so desire. So, any increase should be clearly noted as to how many taxpayers would be required to send more money in, not just how much more.

Its always been 'just a little bit more', until you get a revolt and tax caps enshrined in the State's Constitution.

Anonymous said...

mid-$30's - is that $35.00 or $35,000?

Had Enough Indy? said...

LOL - $35.00 ish. Man if it were $35,000 I'd get into the pitchfork and torch business !

Anonymous said...

So, it's a highly progressive tax, for the average home it's a $40 annual tax, and even if you're a nutcase "no new taxes" Republican it's really not a new tax, it's the elimination of a deduction. You really have to spend less time with Gary & Paul.

Pete Boggs said...

Tax increases are patently regressive; progressive would lessen the burden of those who pay the freight; not redistribute the sweat of their individual brows.

Jon said...

First of all property tax caps are not a true cap, all the assessor has to do is raise assessments and viola you have a tax increase. This year my assessment increased almost 20% and so did my tax bill.
Now the local politicos want to remove another tax deduction that will again raise my taxes.
I'm not against taxes but I'm against corporate welfare, so infrastructure, public safety and public welfare are good taxes while sports palaces and free parking garages for the connected are bad taxes.

Had Enough Indy? said...

Wouldn't it be nice if we could allocate our taxes when we send them in?

Had Enough Indy? said...

Anon - Its a tax hike. And not a progressive tax hike either, since in most taxing districts folks with lower priced homes would see their taxes rise by more than those with a higher price home. That's called regressive.

The city would gain, other taxing units would lose.

And, there is a means under existing law for folks who think they are undertaxed, or who want to pay more, to voluntarily add it to their bill.

Anonymous said...

Quite a few interesting definitions of progressive and regressive there. I can live with "all taxes are regressive," and would agree the government ought to be paying us all money rather than the opposite," since it's nuts, but consistent nuts.

If a cheap house pays $10 and an expensive house pays $100 - that defines progressive.

Had Enough Indy? said...

In this case though, a $100,000 house would pay $35ish and a $200,000 house would pay $15ish. Regressive tax hike.

Pete Boggs said...

This city's full of $5K value houses with value matching annual tax bills (read overtaxed, as even 2% would only be $100 / yr).

Investors can't make those numbers work. However, strong armed theoretic "legislation" can make them available for aggregators / developers with "bigger ideas."

Assuming best possible definitions, progressive ought apply to the people, the owners of the language; not state centered, misappropriation / co-option of same.