Voice of the People
There’s a lot of finger pointing over the embarrassing fiasco with
“Property Tax Collecting”. Yes, the Governor, our chief executive
officer; the State legislators; and all of our County officials are certainly
responsible for the mess. We’re beginning to see a new level of ineptitude
which verges on negligence. But, the ultimate blame lies with the citizenry
and our greed and lack of willingness to support ourselves.
No matter what other issues face us, the one constant seems to be this notion
that in spite of inflation; in spite of the fact there are more of us; and in
spite of the fact we always want better this or that, we believe it’s
possible to pay for all this with lower taxation.
I think its fair to say Republicans have traditionally carried this banner;
and with much sanctimonious pride. Focusing on the most individual and
largest of taxes, Property Taxes, they raised their muskets and fired their
salvos over and over until the majority allowed the most stable source of
governmental revenue to be tampered with. And look what it got us. Near
chaos. Local governments and school districts are borrowing millions in order
to continue functioning, thus spending more than was to be gained.
I attended a meeting of local State Legislators and members of the
Chesterton/Duneland Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors recently, where
State Senator Ed Soliday, a Republican, but to his credit brought to our
attention the notion that Property Taxes are the most stable and thus most
valuable form of taxation. He pointed out, correctly, that such taxes as
Sales and Income have the potential for very serious shortfalls during
economic downturns. When workers are temporarily laid off or lose their
jobs, their incomes drop and with it they pay less or no INCOME taxes! When
their income is less they spend less. And therefore there are fewer SALES
taxes collected! They don’t drive their cars as much. Guess what? Less
gasoline sales taxes collected! GET THE PICTURE?
Just keep voting for Mitch Daniels and those other local and state office
holders (Democrats and Independents alike) who try to explain to us why they
think Property Taxes should be lowered or not raised more than this or that
percentage. The truth is that property should be valued fairly. One doesn’t
need to be a genius to figure out how. But, until that was known, the
Property taxes should have been frozen or raised only modestly. If a special
legislative mechanism was needed; it should have been provided. And lastly,
as long as people buy and sell “homes” in order to increase their wealth
(which they most certainly have a right to do), they and only they should be
willing and able to afford higher taxes.