Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Spirit of 2008

Last year July 4th saw Marion County homeowners protesting en mass in front of the Governor's Mansion. A year later many of us have seen our property tax bills increase by 100% or more. All of us are paying an additional 1% sales tax. The legislature has passed a tax relief plan that will not give us real help until 2010 at the earliest. So what do we do? Do we sit down and allow our elected officials run roughshod over us with a system that's anything but "Uniform and Equal", or do we do what we did last year when we let our voices be heard as one and demand accountability?

Regardless of my candidacy for public office, I will be there. For while many of those in Cottage Home who were cruelly assessed last year, have seen their reassessments drop by an average of$80,000 (which for some represents a 40% drecrease), my assessment only decreased $20,000(about a 10% decrease). This still leaves my assessment at slightly over a 300% increase. Couple this with a 3.75% tax rate my total tax liability is about $4500/year, still a 680% increase over last year. I have also noted that the reassessment has increased the over all tax liabilty of many of my neighbors and friends. The tax rate approximately doubled going from 2005 to 2006. Add to this, a doubling of the assessed values of many of the homes, and the overall result is that many of you have experinced a total increase of about 400%. One would have thought that the higher assessed values would have significantly drecreased the tax rate, but it didn't. So come on out and join your voice to what I hope will be the beginning of a true call for change in the way we tax the citizens of Indiana.

Who: Friends of Liberty and Justice for All
What: July 4 Celebration, as properly done
When: Friday, 4 July, 2008 from 10-11am
Where: In front of the Indiana Governor's Mansion at 4750 N. Meridian,Indianapolis

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Angleton for State Rep Campaign Potential Upcoming Fund Raising Events

My friends and supporters,

I'm in the process of organizing two major fundraising events for my campaign.

The first is a golf outing, probably in late August at either Pleasant Run or Sarah Shank golf course. The probable donation will be ~ $100. This includes green fees, cart rental, prizes for longest drive and closest to pin, a cookout- type meal and drink tickets for the beverage cart. I will need approximately 32 players to make it work.

The second is an Indian's ballgame in either late July or early to mid August. I hope to be able to include the picnic buffet prior to the game. The donation will be $40. In order to have the buffet 50 reservations will be required.

I will post more details when they become available.

July 4 Celebration at the Governor's Mansion

Who: Friends of Liberty and Justice for All
What: July 4 Celebration, as properly done
When: Friday, 4 July, 2008 from 10-11am
Where: In front of the Indiana Governor’s Mansion at 4750 N. Meridian, Indianapolis
Contact: Andy Horning;

For a detailed background regarding this event see Andy's blog:

… Where’s the Relief?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Very Definition of Uniform and Equal

Here's a little tidbit I discovered this morning.
The house on the left is now assessed for $141,000. The house on the right is assessed at $146,000.
I realize that it's difficult to see any real details so I'll give some background.
The $141,000 house is the home of an highly educated professional and his family. It has been completely rehabbed and is in very good condition. It also has a separate apartment that is rented out.
The $146,000 is empty and is in a general state of disrepair. It is currently undergoing renovation, but progress is very slow. It has been in this condition since before 2004.
Looks like the taxpayers of Marion Co. really got their monies worth in the reassessment.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

So What's Another $278 Million?

IPS will be having a board meeting at Arsenal Tech High School on June 25th, 7:00 PM, to receive public input regarding a $278 million bond issue to be used to renovate 26 elementary schools and one middle school, replace two elementary schools and make additional improvements at three high schools. According to the Indianapolis Star this will add approximately $104/year for each $100,000 of assessed value.

According to the State Board of Accounts Audit for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2007, the total current long term debt was $544,287,415. So if we add another $278 million we'll have a total of $822 million and change.

Where has all the money gone? Why are the buildings in such disrepair? Why do we throw money at them with little or no signs of improvement. Is the system unmanageable? Does it need to be split up into smaller units?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

"I never said it was FAIR"

From Indiana Barrister:

Marion County lawmakers got a briefing tonight on the property reconciliation bills that are going out this week and when it’s all said and done homeowners will wish their property was under 10 feet of water.

According to one lawmaker, “this is not going to be pretty.”

The briefing was conducted by Marion County Treasurer Mike Rodman. Residents will see very little, if any relief in most cases.

The lawmaker, who asked not to be identified said, “the people who were the most vocal last summer will be the ones who see the least amount of relief.”

Abdul Hakim-Shabazz, June 9, 2008

This is a most interesting comment, and unfortunately I think I can attest to its veracity. Consider the following case:

In 2007 5 homeowners in the Cottage Home Neighborhood on the Near Eastside saw assessments increase approximately 4 times the previous years assessment. We were understandably upset. In fact, that was the spark that breathed life into this blog.

One of our neighbors saw their assessment jump to $225,000. Ours jumped to $256,000.

I attended all the rallies, filed an appeal, and spoke unkindly about the ability of the Center Township Assessor's Office to assess their way out of a paper bag. Our neighbors did none of these.

Now comes the reassessment.

My assessment dropped from $256,000 to $232,000.
My neighbors dropped from $225,00 to $141,300.

Futhermore, I can point to two other neighbors who exprienced similar decreases, one for $193,00 to $114,000 and another that went from $254,400 to $170,200.

So, did the petty little tyrants choose to drop the hammer on my wife and I for speaking up?

You bet they did.

BTW the title of this post is a comment my wife received from someone named Frank in the Center Township Assessor's Office when she pointed out the inequities of the original 2006 assessment.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

If at First You Don't Succeed Fail and Fail Again

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results"
Albert Einstein
I'm not really sure who this applies to more, the Indiana General Assembly, or the voters who keep electing the same two parties over and over again. The Republicans and the Democrats have shown that they cannot be trusted to enact policy that provides meaningful property tax relief. It does not matter one bit which party is in control, it almost always devolves into petty partisan bickering while the Indiana taxpayer gets left holding the bag.
The worst part of this present scenario is that the lawsuit that triggered our current problems was filed in 1993. The court opinions that imposed upon us a "fair market value" system occurred over the time span of 1996-1998. Our legislature has had over 10 years to ensure that a system was in place that would provide for a truly "Uniform & Equal" system of assessment and taxation.
In 2007 the citizens of this state took to the streets to demand true property tax reform, and barring that, repeal. Our governmental units took notice. Those who continued to pretend that the sky was not falling saw their political careers left in a shambles, whether they had the power to affect property tax reform or not. Then came the May 2008 primaries, which conveniently occurred prior to the mailing of the RECONCILIATION BILLS, and the voters, dazzled by the media attention of a suddenly meaningful Presidential primary, forgot the lessons of last summer. In fact many believed that the "tax reform" package passed by the General Assembly this spring and touted as the best they could do, was the real tax relief we needed. Regardless of cause we saw no change in the school boards that account for over 50% of our property tax burden. The same big spenders or the chosen replacements for the big spenders were carried to victory by those who think the school house is the major factor in our children's education. Incumbent legislators survived every primary challenger.
We are headed down a path to nowhere.
This week the reconciliation bills are being mailed, and much the dismay of many, there is little change for the better. Many homeowners have seen major increases over last summer's bill. Once again we will see Hoosier taxpayers marching in the streets.
'Cause the summer's here and the time is right for fighting in the street, boy.
The Rolling Stones, "Street Fighting Man"
The 2008 election year is supposed to be all about change, but as long as the two parties that now control our government are continually reelected, there can be no change.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Calling All Libertarians - Volunteers Needed

I have obtained a booth and parade entry for the June 14th Indy Pride Festival. Now we need volunteers to march and man the booth.

The parade begins at 10:00 am at Mass Ave & College Ave. This would be an ideal opportunity for our Marion Co and State-wide Candidates to gain some visibility. We will need a banner (I think Marion Co LP has one). Individual candidates are encouraged to have something to pass out, business card etc. A volunteer should march with each candidate to help carry resupply cards and possibly a sign identifying the candidate. There is a meeting on June 6th, which I will be attending, to get the details about the parade.

The Festival itself is in University Park and runs from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm. The booth will need to be set up by 10:00 am. The festival is providing us with a table and two chairs. I can supply an additional 6’ table and an artist’s 10’ x 10’ open tent. There will be vehicle access to the site until 9:30 am. Our space (#38) is close to the corner of Meridian and Vermont.

We will need two people staffing the tent at all times from set-up to closing. Tents may not be taken down until 7 pm. Ideally, we can do this in two-hour shifts.
We will need literature from the candidates as well as general Libertarian brochures. We should also have a cooler with soft drinks and water for the volunteers and candidates. (Actually we need a volunteer to handle logistics.)

Please respond via my website: