Archive for February, 2008

Let’s not let Indy get the St. Louis Blues?

February 28, 2008

St. LouisMany of our nation’s cities have suffered serious loss of population in their central core. Much of this loss is caused by high taxes, although other forces have an influence. Nowhere is this more apparent than in St. Louis where I grew up. St. Louis has lost a half million people.

The math is simple. People tend to move from high tax areas and toward lower tax areas. Today, we heard someone say, “We are one tax increase away from moving to Hamilton county.”

Indianapolis is a beautiful city and I do not want to see it decline because of foolish tax policy. Take a look at this short video on YouTube and see what has happened to St. Louis. Take a look over the edge and see how far a city can fall, then let’s step back take a breath and vow not to let our city reach that tipping point.

See the Short St. Louis Video by clicking here.


Immaculate Heart and the property tax

February 27, 2008

More walking today and more to learn about the property tax. Today I learned how it strikes at one of our city’s great primary schools, Immaculate Heart of Mary School, in Meridian-Kessler. For years families have moved into the neighborhood so they could send their children to this fine school. It is one of those parochial schools that does such a good job of educating children at a remarkably low cost.

Tonight I learned that a family with four children who had been attending the school withdrew their children because of the property tax. They loved the school. The mother had been driving them to the school every day. The family had been planning to move into the neighborhood because of the school.

It didn’t happen. The property tax in Meridian Kessler drove them away. Instead, they moved to Carmel. So the school lost four students and the income from their tuition, and the neighborhood lost a fine family that would have settled in for a decade or more.

Those who say that property tax is essential for supporting the public schools do not seem to grasp that high property tax undermines the public schools by driving away the tax base. Those who defend the property tax because of the stable income it supposedly provides lose sight of the long term destabilizing effect on communities.

Minnie and her Property Tax

February 26, 2008

The shoe leather campaign began today. You learn a lot when you just walk the city you live in and knock on doors and talk to people. You find out how many homes are empty, how many need repair, and then you meet someone who touches your life. Today it was an old woman. We will call her Minnie. That was my grandmother’s name.

Minnie has been living in her house for over 40 years. Now she lives alone, except for her little dog. She stays active, does some volunteer work, especially at the polls, every election. We talked to her about the property taxes. She was worried about them. She got more worried about them when we told her about the makeup bill that is coming. She didn’t realize that the governor’s reprieve last fall wasn’t a permanent thing. She just has her social security and a small pension.
Laura, my wife, called the assessors office, to see if we could get the gauge of what she is up against. It wasn’t pretty. The folks in the assessor’s office were helpful though and checked her records. They found that she had not filed her exemption for being over 65. That will be considerable help to her. They are sending the form and Laura will see to it that she gets it filled out and sent in.
The over 65 exemption is an attempt to limit the harshness of the property tax. It does that, if you know enough to file it. That is the problem with administrative fixes. Most people find it difficult to work their way through the bureaucracy. People fall through the cracks. She has been overpaying for years.
Even though Minnie is going to get some help, the fact that she needed it made me angry again about the property tax. It’s just not right.
I should also thank my blessings. At least I have a new friend.

Ken Morgan

Enough is Enough

February 24, 2008

The tax bills are coming.
Tax relief is not.

2008 will be a grim year for most property owners with three big bills on their way. The 2007 “make up” bill with the new assessments will come first, followed by both 2008 bills. All are payable in 2008. Many people will simply not have the money. It promises to be a long, hot, angry summer.

In 2009 – more of the same, with no relief in sight until possibly 2010. We can’t wait that long.

Enough is enough. Vote out incumbents who created this crisis.

Vote Ken Morgan for relief and reform