Thursday, October 25, 2007

Tom Henry on Mitch Daniels' Property Tax Plan

Here's what mayoral candidate Tom Henry had to say about Governor Mitch Daniels’ new property tax plan - you can read the press release here:
Finding a real solution to the property tax crisis is a priority issue for me. I know firsthand the pain it is causing Fort Wayne residents. Back in July, I challenged state elected officials to give emergency relief to those in need and to begin work immediately on a long-term solution.

I also pledged to do my part as mayor by delivering cost-effective, high-quality services and getting the most bang out of every buck. It’s why I will create a collaborative purchasing network when elected. Buying in bulk and passing the savings on to our citizens just makes sense.

So does addressing the property tax crisis. It is a leadership imperative for me. Because it is, I offer these comments on the issue and the plan put forth by Governor Mitch Daniels.

I commend the governor for his ideas, for acknowledging the need for immediate relief and for his willingness to consider all options, even amending the Indiana constitution. But I offer this caution: Before we write anything into this historic document that has served Hoosiers well for 156 years, I counsel the governor and state legislators to make sure that any changes made to it are in the best long-term interests of all citizens, in particular, the people of Fort Wayne.

I also urge that the choices made give more control, not less, to local jurisdictions. The people

of our counties, cities and towns and those they elect know best how to meet their own needs. Local leaders are already doing more with less and with fewer options to make their communities’ competitive and attractive. Flexibility and greater local control must be part of any long-term solution.

I know what I’m talking about. When I was on Fort Wayne City Council, I led the bipartisan effort to shift some of the burden away from property taxpayers. You can be sure I will continue that fight as your mayor on the home front, at the statehouse and anywhere the battle against higher taxes is waged.


J Q Taxpayer said...

This is not a shot at Tom Henry.

I love both the GOP and Demo elected people saying we want stop hurting the property taxpayers. Who is left after that? No one is the answer.

Tax dollars are tax dollars! No matter which pocket they come out of. They are removed by the government so I no longer control them.

Jeff Pruitt said...

You bring up a good point and one I've been trying to make for some time. Taxes are a zero sum game. If you cut them somewhere then they go up somewhere else - it's as simple as that...

Charlotte A. Weybright said...

A rose is a rose is a rose... A tax is a tax is a tax. We are going to pay one way or the other.

I am trying to figure out which way would be less painful:

1) increasing sales taxes;
2) increasing income taxes;
3) shifting more of the burden to commerical entities; or,
4) leaving the structure alone.

Who is hurt most by the assessed value of homes and property? If we are talking about homes that are in the price range of $200,000 to $300,000 to purchase, wouldn't someone who purchased such a home expect a higher tax burden than someone who paid $60,000 or $70,000 for a home?

To be honest, when I see the price of homes in the real estate section of the Sunday paper, I have to wonder where people are getting the money to purchase these montrous multi-room homes.

Part of me dislikes paying my property taxes, but on the other hand, I don't have a lot of empathy or sympathy for those who spend hundreds of thousands of dollars or even a million dollars on homes.

Jeff Pruitt said...

Exactly Charlotte. Should we punish people that make a decent wage but choose to live within their means? That's exactly what a shift from property to income taxes would do.

On the other hand we should protect homeowners from dramatic tax increases that might cause them to lose their home.

It's a difficult problem...