INdiana Systemic Thinking

February 24, 2008

Long, Young Muse On Property Taxes

The Evansville Courier Press has an article penned by Senate President Pro Tempore David Long and Senate Minority Leader Richard Young.  It’s encouraging to see these leaders write directly to the people of Indiana about Property Taxes.  However, they fail to “get it” on several issues.

The article is pretty much a summary of what we’ve been reading in the papers about what the General Assembly is trying to accomplish with property taxes.  Both should be congratulated for not taking undue credit and helping with the progress made so far.  Still, it seems they want us to forget how we got here, and what is going on in the other chamber of the esteemed body, where representatives continue to argue partisan points and change the good piece of legislation enacted in the senate.

They write:

This marks the fourth consecutive session many of us have attempted to address the complexities of property taxes. Earlier reforms have not garnered enough public support and political will to prevent the crisis too many Indiana property owners face. This year, public support and political will must prevail.

First off, I’m not so sure how serious the proposals over the last four years have been.  My feeling is they were other “band-aid” ideas benefiting very few Hoosiers.  Regardless, leaders lead and politicians politic.  If the legislature knew we were headed for the current crisis, they should have taken the lead and thwarted the problem before it became a crisis.  Instead, as the above quote implies, they decided to politic and do what was popular.  Well, now it’s popular and we still have the politicking, as what evidenced by what is going on in the house.  Granted, neither of these Senators have anything to do with what is going on in that chamber, but they would do well to cross the hallway and work with members of their own, and other, party to make sure the relief they passed in their chamber, passes in the house.

They also discuss property tax repeal.  They state:

Total repeal of property taxes — as some Hoosiers and legislators would like to do — requires raising about $7 billion in income and sales taxes, resulting in tax rates economists say would drive away workers and employers. Especially at a time when Indiana’s economy remains fragile, lawmakers must be certain of consequences. Currently, more questions than answers surround this concept of property tax repeal. However, the issue of repealing property taxes entirely remains a worthy long-term goal.

First off, I thought Indiana was on a hot streak, economically, not “fragile”, but I digress.

If offsetting the property tax rate with income tax would result in an unacceptable rate for “workers and employers”, doesn’t this say more about state and county spending than it does about the rate.  I mean no one is talking about an overall tax increase, but finding fairer methods to keep the status quo.  If placing all of this under one rate (income) is unacceptable, then why is it anymore acceptable to spread the same total among many different taxes?  If taxes are too high, address the problem (spending) and stop playing the Indiana tax shell game.

February 11, 2008

Indiana Barrister Gets It Right

Filed under: Indiana,Politics: Property Tax — kurtglmft @ 8:50 am
Tags: , , ,

I hate to send readers away from the blog, but Abdul over at Indiana Barrister has the right idea about local leaders complaining about the amount of money they will receive under the Governor’s property tax plan.  Abdul’s thought, pass the tax plan and see if ordinary citizen’s speak out about cuts in local services.  Sounds logical, but with so many people disenfranchised with local government services the outcry would be hard to hear over a cricket at night.  Add to it that most people understand we just cannot afford these “valuable” services anymore and you see why local leaders are scared.  Perhaps the local leaders should have thought of these issues prior to enacting them with the thought the gravy train would last forever.

Property Tax Rebate and Your Taxes

Filed under: Indiana,Politics: Property Tax — kurtglmft @ 8:50 am
Tags: , ,

The South Bend Tribune this morning attempts to solve how your property tax rebate should be treated on your 2007 taxes.  For answers, click here.  But in reading through the article it hit me…  Why isn’t the state paying penalties and interest on these rebates?  I mean if I don’t pay my taxes, or underpay them, even through no fault of my own, I have to pay these additional fees, why don’t they?  Why is the state held to a different standard than we are?

February 4, 2008

Property Taxes: Where We’re At

Last week I was really confused as to what was going on in Indianapolis on the property tax situation.  I know, I could have gone over to the usually outdated in.gov site and read through the bills and found out for myself, but I was busy with other things.  Besides, I was getting a little frustrated with all the media reports of one side attaching this or that amendment to further their self appointed needs.  So, I sat back and let everything shake out.  Luckily, things aren’t as bad as what the media, and some bloggers, would have us believe. 

The South Bend Tribune has a good overview of where we are with the property tax reform situation.  Apparently both houses still have bills that, more or less, are in line with what the governor proposed at the beginning of the session.  Remember, last Wednesday was the last day for bills to be heard in their house of origin, so each house has now “traded” with the other.  Sure, there are some differences in the bills, but those will most likely be worked out in conference committee.  It is my view the final bills will look very close to what the governor proposed.  I say this because, despite all the posturing and amendments, legislators have to be in the position to say they passed property tax reform by the end of this session, and neither side wants it to look any different than what the governor proposed. 

Why, you ask?  Well they want to pass it so they can go home and say they did something.  So when your property tax bill arrives the month or so before the 2008 election, you’ll notice a difference.  If you don’t, legislators are going to have to look for new “part-time” jobs.  They also want the governor’s fingerprints all over this.  That way they have someone to blame if it goes wrong, or some get hurt.  And some will.  Certainly some communities will have to do some belt tightening, and all of us will pay more in sales tax, of which I’m sure we’ll hear some parts of the populace complain.  But overall the governor’s plan appears to be a good starting point.  What needs to happen is a continued dialogue and study of the issue, so we never ever end up in this situation again.  Unfortunately, I fear once this is passed, and the fervor dies down, reform will stop and the legislature will go back to band-aiding the mess until the next time they are forced to act.

One more thing, the property tax reform legislation is on the table because of overwhelming public support.  It affects everyone and just about everything.  If you support one of the issues some legislators are attempting to attach to the reform measures, but have nothing to do with property tax, that’s great, but this is not the legislation to attach your measure.  In fact it is probably doing your measure more harm by having it perceived as the thing that could kill tax reform, than the perceived possible benefit of your measure.  Please inform your leaders and members of the legislature of your feelings and have your measure addressed at a different time or in a different way.

January 25, 2008

IN Tax Reforms Move to Senate: Fry Only Dissenter

Here is a good story from the Indianapolis Star detailing the Property Tax Reforms the Governor ask for, and what made it through the House.  It is now on it’s way to Senate, where they will have until February 27, to vote on the bill.  I’m not going to quote anything here because the article does a good job of summarizing the changes and describing the process.

However, The South Bend Tribune quotes the only “nay” vote for the bill.  Here is what he/they had to say:

Rep. Craig Fry, D-Mishawaka, stood alone in his opposition to the bill, calling it “a fraud” and the biggest tax increase in the state’s history. Fry said the circuit breakers in the bill — which cap residential property taxes at 1 percent of a home’s assessed value, 2 percent for rentals, and 3 percent for businesses — are unconstitutional, and he expects court challenges from businesses. He said that 41 percent of homeowners currently pay less than 1 percent and that now all Hoosiers will be burdened with an increased sales tax.

“I think sales tax is very regressive and unfair to people of middle to lower incomes,” he said.

After the assessment system was restructured to a market value system under former Gov. Joe Kernan in 2002, Fry said people were promised tax reductions. Instead in St. Joseph County, property taxes doubled and in some cases quadrupled. He also blamed the repeal of the inventory tax for contributing to the problem, which hit Elkhart County hard because it shifted the property tax burden from businesses to homeowners.

Ryan Kitchell, director of the Office of Management and Budget, said Fry’s statements about the cap are incorrect and that the bill clearly offers tax cuts. He said for every dollar raised by the sales tax, at least two will be cut from property taxes. The 1 percent cap means only that homeowners won’t pay more than that, Kitchell said, and those paying less than 1 percent won’t start paying up to that amount. Kitchell said a study from the Legislative Services Agency shows that property taxes in St. Joseph County will decrease by an average of 39 percent in 2009. The inventory tax repeal was a ballot question in 2004, he said, and was something a majority of residents voted to repeal.

Govt. Screw-Ups, Unfair and Inconvenient

Aside from huge tax bills, another thing that gets people madder than heck is when government employees screw-up.  Now everyone is human and we all screw-up from time to time, but when a screw-up ruins someones life or bring to light a hugely unfair system is when people start becoming less and less forgiving.

Look at these two examples, the first if is from the Northwest Indiana Times.  The second, from the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette.

A rural Crown Point man said he learned the hard way Wednesday taxpayers can only depend on themselves to have and hold their property tax deductions.

Norman R. Walters said the county failed to give him credit for his mortgage exemption for the last 13 years, but they still refuse to give him a complete refund.

Dan Repay, tax director for the county auditor’s office, confirmed no taxpayer can be compensated for 13 years of overtaxing.

“The law only lets us go back to correct three years,” Repay said. “I apologize to the gentleman, but I can’t go beyond the law.”

Repay said his office struggles to manage a variety of exemptions on 240,000 separate parcels of land. He said it is ultimately the taxpayers’ responsibility to ensure their exemptions are in order.

The retired steelworker said he has more than an average attachment to his house, sitting on more than an acre in Holiday Creek subdivision southeast of the city limits. He said he has been living there since 1974.

“I built my own home,” Walters said. “I’ve never missed a tax payment, and this last bill went up 26 percent.”

Walters, 66, living on a fixed income, said he began investigating whether to pay off the remainder of his mortgage or keep it and the mortgage exemption — $3,000 subtracted from the property’s assessed value — as a hedge against the rising property taxes.

His investigation led to the discovery he didn’t have a mortgage exemption.

“They told me I hadn’t had one since 1979,” Walters said.

Walters said he couldn’t believe what he was told, so he rummaged through his records and found a receipt, dated 1994, that he had filed for an exemption when he refinanced his home under the administration of former county Auditor Anna Anton.

Walters said he took his 1994 document back to the county complex and was told he is entitled to a refund — but only for the last three tax years, with interest, or about $194.

“It should be four times that amount, and they said I have to pay taxes on my refund,” Walters said. “Look, its not my fault.”

And now the second one:

A Muncie woman says she is trying to make ends meet after the government mixed up her Social Security benefits following her supposed death.

Toni Anderson, 60, said her problems began after her husband, John, died Nov. 8. She went to a local Social Security office to enroll for widow’s benefits and was told that records indicated she, not her husband, had died.

Anderson, who is disabled, already received supplementary security income. The Social Security office secured those benefits for December, she said, but she has not received any more – or widow’s benefits – since that $623 check, which was made out to her husband.

The government also sent a letter to her deceased husband, dated Nov. 16. It begins, “Dear Mr. Anderson: Our condolences on the loss of Mrs. Anderson …”

A Chicago-based regional communications director for the Social Security Administration declined to comment when contacted for a story by The Star Press.

Anderson said the regional official and a manager at the local Social Security office both contacted her this week and said they were working to correct the problem.

“In their eyes, I don’t know whether I’m dead or not still,” Anderson said. “Last I heard, I’m still dead.”

Any wonder why taxpayers are up in arms?

January 20, 2008

Bills and Resolutions Updated

Here are the current bills and resolutions filed in the statehouse this week.  The master list has been updated and is here.  This should be the all the filings for this legislative cycle, if the state web site is up to date (and thats a big if). 

House:

  • HB 1218 — Eminent domain issues.
  • HB 1219 — Unemployment insurance.
  • HB 1220 — Transportation tax area.
  • HB 1221 — Operating a vehicle recklessly.
  • HB 1222 — Death taxes.
  • HB 1223 — Sales tax exemption for road material recycling equipment.
  • HB 1224 — Transfer fees.
  • HB 1225 — Illegal alien matters.
  • HB 1226 — State licensure of towing services.
  • HB 1227 — Shoreline development commission.
  • HB 1228 — Sheriff’s compensation.
  • HB 1229 — Fresh start income tax credit.
  • HB 1230 — Redistricting commission.
  • HB 1231 — Mechanic’s liens.
  • HB 1232 — Criminal history checks.
  • HB 1233 — Grandparent visitation.
  • HB 1234 — School attendance records and enforcement.
  • HB 1235 — Deduction for postsecondary tuition.
  • HB 1236 — Local spending caps.
  • HB 1237 — Extra heavy duty highway route.
  • HB 1238 — Year to year tenancy on land used for agriculture.
  • HB 1239 — School improvement progress and awards.
  • HB 1240 — Restrictions on public benefits to illegal aliens.
  • HB 1241 — Lottery advertising.
  • HB 1242 — Business tax matters
  • HB 1243 — Retractable tire studs.
  • HB 1244 — Common school fund; certification fee.
  • HB 1245 — Transit districts.
  • HB 1246 — Student graduation plan and online learning.
  • HB 1247 — Taxes on motor fuel; mass transit funding.
  • HB 1248 — Law enforcement continuing education program court fee.
  • HB 1249 — Tuition exemption for Purple Heart recipients.
  • HB 1250 — State park development and funding for the NAIAC.
  • HB 1251 — Various property tax matters.
  • HB 1252 — Property tax relief.
  • HB 1253 — Manual on uniform traffic control devices.
  • HB 1254 — Animal cruelty.
  • HB 1255 — Valuable metal dealers.
  • HB 1256 — Distributed generation facilities.
  • HB 1257 — Judges’ pensions.
  • HB 1258 — Methadone clinic drug testing and minors.
  • HB 1259 — Child safety and CHINS.
  • HB 1260 — Encoded ammunition.
  • HB 1261 — Study commissions.
  • HB 1262 — Police enforcement of federal immigration laws.
  • HB 1263 — Lake County innkeeper’s tax.
  • HB 1264 — Limitation on school starting date.
  • HB 1265 — Land surveyor registration.
  • HB 1266 — Eligibility criteria for Medicaid waiver.
  • HB 1267 — LIFE Scholarships.
  • HB 1268 — Regulation of cigarette retail sales.
  • HB 1269 — Employee classification.
  • HB 1270 — Greendale local taxes.
  • HB 1271 — Inmate credit time.
  • HB 1272 — City legislative bodies.
  • HB 1273 — Compensation for emergency or disaster training.
  • HB 1274 — Illegal alien matters.
  • HB 1275 — Local government copying fees.
  • HB 1276 — Bail.
  • HB 1277 — State economic development incentives.
  • HB 1278 — Reporting tax violations.
  • HB 1279 — ISTEP for students with disabilities.
  • HB 1280 — Energy efficient buildings.
  • HB 1281 — Property tax exemptions.
  • HB 1283 — Unemployment insurance benefits fees.
  • HB 1284 — Group insurance.
  • HB 1285 — Limit on sex offender as guardian or custodian.
  • HB 1286 — Library services authorities.
  • HB 1287 — Home health agency expenditures.
  • HB 1288 — Certification for behavior analysts.
  • HB 1289 — Electronic waste.
  • HB 1290 — Older youth foster care.
  • HB 1291 — Unauthorized aliens.
  • HB 1292 — Flags on public buildings to be made in USA.
  • HB 1293 — Homestead deduction application.
  • HB 1294 — County option dog tax on kennels.
  • HB 1295 — Fees for spinal cord and brain injury fund.
  • HB 1296 — State funding of child welfare services.
  • HB 1297 — Publication of notices.
  • HB 1298 — Communications and public safety answering points.
  • HB 1299 — Sex offender residency.
  • HB 1300 — Labeling standards for milk.
  • HB 1301 — Expungement of certain felony conviction records.
  • HB 1302 — Custodial interrogation recording.
  • HB 1303 — Contracts for operation of animal shelters.
  • HB 1304 — Diesel fuel inspection program.
  • HB 1305 — Public safety funding.
  • HB 1306 — State spending cap.
  • HB 1307 — State spending cap.
  • HB 1308 — College readiness program.
  • HB 1309 — Repeal of valuation method for certain property.
  • HB 1310 — Faculty member on university boards of trustees.
  • HB 1311 — Medical care for town firefighters.
  • HB 1312 — County drain maintenance funding.
  • HB 1313 — Inmate employment counseling and searches.
  • HB 1314 — Expungement of certain conviction records.
  • HB 1315 — Automated traffic control systems.
  • HB 1316 — Sales tax holiday.
  • HB 1317 — Spinal manipulation.
  • HB 1318 — Funding for spinal cord and brain injury research.
  • HB 1319 — Assessment of forest land for taxation purposes.
  • HB 1320 — BMV fees for law enforcement academies.
  • HB 1321 — Veterans’ jobs tax credit.
  • HB 1322 — Mandatory ethanol level in gasoline.
  • HB 1323 — Dialysis treatment coverage.
  • HB 1324 — Disclosure of event data recorders.
  • HB 1325 — Contractor performance bonds.
  • HB 1326 — Commission on Hispanic/Latino affairs.
  • HB 1327 — Property tax deductions.
  • HB 1328 — Testing of special education students.
  • HB 1329 — Sex offenses and children.
  • HB 1330 — Eliminate sales tax on gasoline.
  • HB 1331 — Expense advances to driver employees.
  • HB 1332 — Trustee duties concerning life insurance.
  • HB 1333 — State reimbursement of child services costs.
  • HB 1334 — Annexation.
  • HB 1335 — Child visitation and electronic communication time.
  • HB 1336 — County government reorganization.
  • HB 1337 — Elimination of property taxes.
  • HB 1338 — Property tax elimination.
  • HB 1339 — Drug testing of welfare recipients.
  • HB 1340 — Privatization review committee.
  • HB 1341 — Ports of Indiana.
  • HB 1342 — Electronic health records system.
  • HB 1343 — Health insurance coverage for children under age 24.
  • HB 1344 — 1985 judges pension fund.
  • HB 1345 — Trespass.
  • HB 1346 — Loan broker commission.
  • HB 1347 — Excise tax on recreational vehicles and campers.
  • HB 1348 — Review of total debt and lease burden on taxpayer.
  • HB 1349 — State spending cap.
  • HB 1350 — Police enforcement of federal immigration laws.
  • HB 1351 — Game preserve licenses.
  • HB 1352 — Appraisals and assessment reviews.
  • HB 1353 — Property tax benefits for seniors.
  • HB 1354 — Disaster relief fund.
  • HB 1355 — Donations by local units to community foundations.
  • HB 1356 — Donor withdrawal of property from institutions.
  • HB 1357 — Marion superior court magistrates.
  • HB 1358 — Civil rights.
  • HB 1359 — Various financial institutions matters.
  • HB 1360 — Mortgage lending issues.
  • HB 1361 — Nutritional information at food establishments.
  • HB 1362 — Nonprofit and county hospitals.
  • HB 1363 — Solid waste management districts.
  • HB 1364 — Long term care coverage.
  • HB 1365 — High school athlete steroid testing.
  • HB 1366 — High school IEP diplomas for students with a disability.
  • HB 1367 — Reclassification of manufactured homes as real property.
  • HB 1368 — Industrial waste products.
  • HB 1369 — Defenses to controlled substance offenses.
  • HB 1370 — State forests.
  • HB 1371 — Marion County airport authority.
  • HB 1372 — Selection of superintendent of public instruction.
  • HB 1373 — School board elections at general election time.
  • HB 1374 — Public works projects.
  • HB 1375 — Judges pensions.
  • HB 1376 — Drug courts and children in need of services.
  • HB 1377 — Crimes of violence.
  • HB 1378 — Indemnification requirements in state contracts.
  • HB 1379 — Viatical settlements.
  • HB 1380 — Distribution of Lake County Income Tax.
  • HB 1381 — Annexation.
  • HB 1382 — Redistricting commission.
  • HB 1383 — Lobbying by former legislators.
  • HB 1384 — Various economic development matters.
  • HB 1385 — Restrictions on public benefits to illegal aliens.
  • HB 1386 — Validating certain law enforcement actions.
  • HB 1387 — Personal needs allowance.
  • HB 1388 — Vehicle Bill.
  • HB 1389 — Vehicle Bill.
  • HB 1390 — Vehicle Bill.
  • HB 1391 — Vehicle Bill.
  • HB 1392 — Vehicle Bill.
  • HB 1393 — Vehicle Bill.
  • HB 1394 — Vehicle Bill.
  • HB 1395 — Vehicle Bill.
  • HB 1396 — Vehicle Bill.
  • HB 1397 — Vehicle Bill.
  • HB 1398 — Vehicle Bill.
  • HB 1399 — Vehicle Bill.
  • HB 1400 — Vehicle Bill.
  • HB 1401 — Vehicle Bill.
  • HB 1402 — Vehicle Bill.
  • HB 1403 — Vehicle Bill.
  • HB 1404 — Vehicle Bill.
  • HB 1405 — Vehicle Bill.
  • HB 1406 — Vehicle Bill.
  • HB 1407 — Vehicle Bill.
  • HB 1408 — Vehicle Bill.
  • HB 1409 — Vehicle Bill.
  • Sentate:

    •  
      • SB 0336 — Stroke prevention task force.
      • SB 0337 — Direct wine sales.
      • SB 0338 — Electronic registration and titling of vehicles.
      • SB 0339 — Various motor vehicle matters.
      • SB 0340 — Prosecuting attorney pensions.
      • SB 0341 — Explanation of proposed constitutional amendments.
      • SB 0342 — Exemption of nonbusiness personal property.
      • SB 0343 — Theft of copper and other valuable metals.
      • SB 0344 — Police officer and firefighter appointments.
      • SB 0345 — Collection of unemployment contributions.
      • SB 0346 — Property tax circuit breaker.
      • SB 0347 — Dangerous communicable diseases.
      • SB 0348 — Child product safety.
      • SB 0349 — Sales tax increment financing feasibility study.
      • SB 0350 — Funding for community mental health centers.
      • SB 0351 — Property tax limitations and procedures.
      • SB 0352 — Various financial institutions matters.
      • SB 0353 — Office of the child advocate.
      • SB 0354 — Parole eligibility.
      • SB 0355 — Cemeteries.
      • SB 0356 — Possession of handguns on public property.
      • SB 0357 — Expungement of criminal offenses.
      • SB 0358 — Voter deception.
      • SB 0359 — Enhanced 911 systems.
      • SB 0360 — E85 fueling station grants.
      • SB 0361 — Treasurer of state.
      • SB 0362 — Interstate enforcement of protective orders.
      • SB 0363 — Uniform emergency health practitioners act.
      • SB 0364 — Child abuse or neglect reports.
      • SB 0365 — Law enforcement training funding.
      • SB 0366 — Standards for tutoring services.
      • SB 0367 — Financial responsibility for carriers of property.
      • SB 0368 — Teacher professional development days.

    January 15, 2008

    Goodbye Tony Soprano

    Somethings ya just think are constants in life.  Then this appears in the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette and it makes you doubt if anything is sacred.  Makes one wonder what’s next…  a populist uprising against taxes… people demanding something be done with healthcare…  Oh wait, those are happening too.   Wow, if the people in this story can stand up to La Cosa Nostra, it makes you wonder what else can be accomplished if your organized and fed up enough.

    PALERMO, Sicily – When it came down to business, Cosa Nostra could always count on fear.

    No more. In a rebellion shaking the Sicilian Mafia to its centuries-old roots, businesses are joining forces in refusing to submit to demands for protection money called “pizzo.”

    And they’re getting away with it, threatening to sap an already-weakened crime syndicate of one of its steadiest sources of revenue.

    The Mafia has a history of bouncing back, but this time it is up against something new: a Web site where businessmen are finding safety in numbers to say no to the mob.

    “This rebellion goes to the heart of the Mafia,” said Palermo prosecutor Maurizio De Lucia, who has investigated extortion cases for years. “If it works, we will have a great advantage in the fight against the Mafia.”

    The businesses are openly defying the Mafia by signing on to a Web site called “Addiopizzo” (Goodbye Pizzo), which brings together businesses in the Sicilian capital that are resisting extortion.

    There’s more to the story if you click the link above.

    January 13, 2008

    Bills and Resolutions Updated

    Here are the current bills and resolutions filed in the statehouse this week.  The master list has been updated and is here.  As of Tuesday, House members may not file anymore bills.  Senators have until this Tuesday (according to my source at the Statehouse), even though the in.gov site states they had to be in last Tuesday.  Anyway, we are approaching the end of the filing period of this year’s General Assembly.

    House:

    • HB 1119 — Public safety retiree reemployment.
    • HB 1120 — Prohibitions on certain detergents.
    • HB 1121 — Natural resources matters.
    • HB 1122 — Juvenile offenders and detention facilities.
    • HB 1123 — 911 call mischief.
    • HB 1124 — Sheriffs’ and deputies’ surviving spouse pension.
    • HB 1125 — Update of references to the Internal Revenue Code.
    • HB 1126 — Wrongful death or injury of a child.
    • HB 1127 — Ban on use of cell phones while driving.
    • HB 1128 — Indiana defense development corporation.
    • HB 1129 — Archeology.
    • HB 1130 — Kernan-Shepard study committee.
    • HB 1131 — Development agreement with riverboat owner or operating agent.
    • HB 1132 — Drug testing of public works contractor employees.
    • HB 1133 — Disaster worker health coverage.
    • HB 1134 — Sex offender Internet offense.
    • HB 1135 — Uniform power of attorney act.
    • HB 1136 — Tourism.
    • HB 1137 — Technical corrections bill.
    • HB 1138 — Cable programming arbitration.
    • HB 1139 — Higher education accountability and reporting.
    • HB 1141 — Child molesting.
    • HB 1142 — Residency of police officers.
    • HB 1143 — Farm vehicles.
    • HB 1144 — Failure to report a dead body.
    • HB 1146 — Bankruptcy and motor vehicle accident judgments.
    • HB 1147 — Life insurance and Medicaid.
    • HB 1149 — License agent service fees.
    • HB 1150 — Bringing alcoholic beverages to an outdoor concert.
    • HB 1151 — Home detention.
    • HB 1152 — Certain sex offenders and school property.
    • HB 1153 — Gaming in bars.
    • HB 1154 — Senior citizen property tax credit.
    • HB 1155 — Parent’s intestate share of child’s estate.
    • HB 1156 — Police and firefighter death benefits.
    • HB 1157 — Underground storage tank corrective actions.
    • HB 1158 — Captive raised game birds.
    • HB 1159 — Media production tax credit.
    • HB 1160 — Study of interception of gaming winnings.
    • HB 1161 — Taxation of military pension benefits or salary.
    • HB 1162 — City council youth adviser.
    • HB 1163 — Vaccines containing mercury.
    • HB 1164 — Property tax deduction for model residences.
    • HB 1165 — Homelessness, foster youth, and education.
    • HB 1166 — Notice of foreclosure sales.
    • HB 1167 — Hand held mobile telephone use.
    • HB 1168 — Confined feeding operations and manure haulers.
    • HB 1170 — Civil rights commission proceedings.
    • HB 1171 — Autism training for EMS personnel.
    • HB 1172 — Various professions and occupations.
    • HB 1173 — Ignition interlock devices.
    • HB 1174 — Military leave for state employees.
    • HB 1175 — Display of new driver status on motor vehicle.
    • HB 1176 — License plate replacement cycle.
    • HB 1177 — Tax credit for anhydrous ammonia additives.
    • HB 1178 — Controlled substances.
    • HB 1179 — Recovery for restraint of trade.
    • HB 1180 — Reconnection charges.
    • HB 1181 — Rate adjustment mechanisms for utilities.
    • HB 1182 — Sales tax exemption for agricultural equipment.
    • HB 1183 — Historic rehabilitation income tax credit.
    • HB 1184 — Scholarships for teachers.
    • HB 1185 — Indoor air quality.
    • HB 1186 — Public safety officer survivor insurance.
    • HB 1187 — Nonprofit corporations.
    • HB 1188 — Animal fighting contests.
    • HB 1189 — Uniform county innkeeper’s tax.
    • HB 1190 — Contraband in penal facilities; public nuisances.
    • HB 1191 — Personal information.
    • HB 1193 — Funding for adult education.
    • HB 1194 — Hunting on rivers in an area of high population density.
    • HB 1195 — Assessment of fault and compensatory damages.
    • HB 1196 — Various election law matters.
    • HB 1197 — Data breaches.
    • HB 1198 — Admissions preference for Indiana residents.
    • HB 1199 — Formation of townships.
    • HB 1200 — Injuries to or death of an employee.
    • HB 1201 — Elimination of townships outside Marion County.
    • HB 1202 — Abraham Lincoln license plate.
    • HB 1203 — Registration of certain school buses.
    • HB 1204 — Emergency alert system advisory committee.
    • HB 1205 — Joint legal custody.
    • HB 1206 — Environmental permits.
    • HB 1207 — Lobbying by former legislators.
    • HB 1208 — Referenda for bond issues and lease rentals.
    • HB 1209 — Review of sentences of certain habitual offenders.
    • HB 1210 — Teacher certification.
    • HB 1211 — Various home loan matters.
    • HB 1212 — Collective bargaining for public employees.
    • HB 1213 — Occupational health and safety training.
    • HB 1214 — Vehicle protection products.
    • HB 1215 — Common construction wage.
    • HB 1216 — Forensic data base for missing children.
    • HB 1218 — Eminent domain issues.

    Senate:

  • SB 0158 — Possession of firearms at state universities.
  • SB 0159 — Third party health service agreements.
  • SB 0160 — Environmental legal actions.
  • SB 0161 — Airline consumer advocate.
  • SB 0162 — Joint legal custody.
  • SB 0163 — Civil penalties for littering.
  • SB 0164 — Medicaid claim payments.
  • SB 0165 — Lobbying by former legislators.
  • SB 0166 — Mandated benefit task force.
  • SB 0167 — Crossing arms on school buses.
  • SB 0168 — Vehicle Bill.
  • SB 0169 — Health insurance reports.
  • SB 0170 — Community investment tax credits.
  • SB 0171 — Crimes against persons with a disability.
  • SB 0172 — Covenant marriage.
  • SB 0173 — Investment deduction.
  • SB 0174 — Absentee voting.
  • SB 0175 — INDOT bidding procedures.
  • SB 0176 — Courthouse preservation advisory commission.
  • SB 0177 — Medical examiners.
  • SB 0178 — Underground storage tank corrective actions.
  • SB 0179 — Bail and recovery agent continuing education.
  • SB 0180 — Child abduction and seduction.
  • SB 0181 — Order of priority for health care decisions.
  • SB 0182 — Occupational safety and health (IOSHA) violations.
  • SB 0183 — Carrying a handgun without a license.
  • SB 0184 — Use of DNA evidence.
  • SB 0185 — State rainy day fund reserves.
  • SB 0186 — Foreclosure of rental properties.
  • SB 0187 — Fetal development curriculum.
  • SB 0188 — Recovery for restraint of trade.
  • SB 0189 — Various issues concerning agriculture and animals.
  • SB 0190 — Title 15 recodification.
  • SB 0191 — Toilet facility access.
  • SB 0192 — Truth in music advertising.
  • SB 0193 — Impoundment of animals.
  • SB 0194 — Tuition and fee exemption for children of veterans.
  • SB 0195 — Motorists and insurance.
  • SB 0196 — Local government matters.
  • SB 0197 — Minority and women businesses.
  • SB 0198 — Towing and storage of abandoned vehicles.
  • SB 0199 — Environmental crimes.
  • SB 0200 — Department of environmental management matters.
  • SB 0201 — Alternate polling places.
  • SB 0202 — Licensure of genetic counselors.
  • SB 0203 — Information concerning state spending and revenues.
  • SB 0204 — Production of driver’s license.
  • SB 0205 — Candidates’ consumer credit scores.
  • SB 0206 — Prohibiting retention of certain access device data.
  • SB 0207 — Public records and criminal offenders.
  • SB 0208 — Deduction of tax payments from checking account.
  • SB 0209 — Toll road.
  • SB 0210 — Teachers’ retirement fund issues.
  • SB 0211 — Electronic copies of sentencing information.
  • SB 0212 — Expense advances to driver employees.
  • SB 0213 — Regional sewer districts.
  • SB 0214 — Qualifications for health facility administrator.
  • SB 0215 — Various election law matters.
  • SB 0216 — Crisis intervention training.
  • SB 0217 — Human and sexual trafficking.
  • SB 0218 — Study commission for single payer health coverage.
  • SB 0219 — Lactation support in the workplace.
  • SB 0220 — Employment of unauthorized aliens.
  • SB 0221 — Warning to pregnant women of tobacco use.
  • SB 0222 — Definition of contraception.
  • SB 0223 — Coal gasification and substitute natural gas.
  • SB 0224 — Various utility matters.
  • SB 0225 — Student media.
  • SB 0226 — Disposal of municipal utility property.
  • SB 0227 — Sexual assault victim advocate standards board.
  • SB 0228 — Qualified zone business contract goals.
  • SB 0229 — Commercial fertilizer law.
  • SB 0230 — Riverboat admissions tax for mental health.
  • SB 0231 — Oversight of public money.
  • SB 0232 — Property exempt from execution of judgments.
  • SB 0233 — Streamlined sales tax conformity.
  • SB 0234 — Public school transfers.
  • SB 0235 — Vote centers.
  • SB 0236 — Driving privileges of minors who commit felonies.
  • SB 0237 — Automobile franchise practices.
  • SB 0238 — Education service centers.
  • SB 0239 — Alcoholic beverage issues.
  • SB 0240 — Purchases of recycled components.
  • SB 0241 — Department of homeland security funds.
  • SB 0242 — Tax delinquent properties.
  • SB 0243 — Vehicle Bill.
  • SB 0244 — Vehicle Bill.
  • SB 0245 — Area plan commission executive director.
  • SB 0246 — Recreational trail liability.
  • SB 0247 — Home medical equipment licensing.
  • SB 0248 — Scholarship granting organization tax credit.
  • SB 0249 — Emergency medical services commission.
  • SB 0250 — Indiana Veterans’ Home.
  • SB 0251 — Local unit contracts for imported drugs.
  • SB 0252 — Disaster relief fund.
  • SB 0253 — Vehicle Bill.
  • SB 0254 — Vehicle Bill.
  • SB 0255 — Incentive payment reporting.
  • SB 0256 — Silicosis.
  • SB 0257 — Mechanic’s liens.
  • SB 0258 — Discharge of long term inmates.
  • SB 0259 — State and local spending caps.
  • SB 0260 — Finance in a consolidated city.
  • SB 0261 — False informing and DNA collection.
  • SB 0262 — Student attendance in former school corporation.
  • SB 0263 — Property tax deduction for the blind and disabled.
  • SB 0264 — County executive.
  • SB 0265 — Criminal gangs.
  • SB 0266 — Child support obligations of inmates.
  • SB 0267 — Income tax deduction or credit for property tax.
  • SB 0268 — Disposal of state owned real estate.
  • SB 0269 — Coverage for prosthetic devices.
  • SB 0270 — Jail inmate health care.
  • SB 0271 — Commercial driver’s license violations.
  • SB 0272 — Property tax benefits for trusts.
  • SB 0273 — Reimbursement of jail costs.
  • SB 0274 — Renames the department of workforce development.
  • SB 0275 — Mortgage lending issues.
  • SB 0276 — School debt.
  • SB 0277 — Dispensing drugs by pharmacies.
  • SB 0278 — Secretary of state investigations.
  • SB 0279 — Property tax assessment.
  • SB 0280 — Marion County government.
  • SB 0281 — Convictions and elections.
  • SB 0282 — Adult education programs.
  • SB 0283 — Online or mail renewal of driver’s license.
  • SB 0284 — Purchase price of certain medications.
  • SB 0285 — Removal of child receiving foster care.
  • SB 0286 — Ballast water and sediment in oceangoing vessels.
  • SB 0287 — Building standards.
  • SB 0288 — Various election matters.
  • SB 0289 — Property tax exemption for certain entities.
  • SB 0290 — Keys and lead safety.
  • SB 0291 — Labeling consumer commodities.
  • SB 0292 — Reporting of campus crime to neighboring law enforcement.
  • SB 0293 — Expungement of arrest records.
  • SB 0294 — Trustee duties concerning life insurance.
  • SB 0295 — Renewable energy standards.
  • SB 0296 — Madison County courts.
  • SB 0297 — Local government matters.
  • SB 0298 — Cost effectiveness analysis of state agencies.
  • SB 0299 — Victim confidentiality.
  • SB 0300 — Historic rehabilitation income tax credit.
  • SB 0301 — Power of attorney for a decedent’s body.
  • SB 0302 — Professional and occupational licensing.
  • SB 0303 — Native American Indian affairs commission.
  • SB 0304 — Arrest records.
  • SB 0305 — Controlled substances.
  • SB 0306 — Bias crimes.
  • SB 0307 — Various business matters.
  • SB 0308 — Safe distance when overtaking a bicycle.
  • SB 0309 — Restructuring county and township government.
  • SB 0310 — Death penalty and mental illness.
  • SB 0311 — Use of medically accurate information in school instruction.
  • SB 0312 — County executives.
  • SB 0313 — Animal cruelty.
  • SB 0314 — Department of agriculture.
  • SB 0315 — Long term care screening and counseling.
  • SB 0316 — Practice of veterinary medicine.
  • SB 0317 — Bail.
  • SB 0318 — Use of library capital projects fund.
  • SB 0319 — Determination of high school graduation rates.
  • SB 0320
  • SB 0321 — Veteran’s lifetime license to hunt, fish, and trap.
  • SB 0322 — Reporting of deaths to coroner.
  • SB 0323 — Retirement benefit adjustment.
  • SB 0324
  • SB 0325 — Election day registration.
  • SB 0326 — Credit time for tutoring inmates.
  • SB 0327 — Parental notice of abstinence-only education.
  • SB 0328 — Grading system for use in food establishment inspections.
  • SB 0329 — Judges’ pensions.
  • SB 0330 — Eligibility for long term care policy deduction.
  • SB 0331 — Health coverage for dependents.
  • SB 0332 — Medicaid disproportionate share providers.
  • SB 0333 — Government reorganization.
  • SB 0334 — Severe weather warning sirens.
  • SB 0335 — Illegal alien matters.
  • SB 0336 — Stroke prevention task force.
  • January 12, 2008

    From the Guv’s Office: Testifying to No No Taxes

    This week, the Governor announced he will testify before a legislative committee, an unusual occurrence for a sitting Governor.  From the Fort Wayne News Sentinel .

    Daniels says he’ll talk about his property tax relief and restructuring plan before the House Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday. He says committee chairman William Crawford invited him to speak.

    Daniels says he didn’t make his decision lightly, because he wasn’t sure it’s the kind of precedent he wants to set. But he says he accepted because the property tax issue is so important.

    It is unusual for governors to testify before legislative committees, but Daniels won’t be setting a precedent. Bob Orr did it when he was governor, as did Frank O’Bannon.

    Daniels appearance will before the Ways and Means Committee at 10:00 a.m. Wednesday.  The Blogmeister wonders if Daniels is taking this step as the “no residential property tax” proposals are gaining momentum.  Something he sad he would “need a lot of convincing” to support.  Here is what he’s saying about this idea.  From the Indy Star:

    Although support is building among some legislators for a plan to eliminate property taxes on homeowners, Gov. Mitch Daniels said Friday that he’ll need a lot of convincing.

    The plan reflects “a great goal to have,” but Daniels said he has yet to find any realistic way to accomplish it.

    No other state has found a way to eliminate property taxes.

    Daniels said he’s not ready to expand the sales tax to services and is unequivocally opposed to raising income taxes to make up the revenues lost by a reduction in property taxes.  “I could not find a formula that I thought was responsible in terms of not raising other taxes too much, particularly things that might hurt the economy,” Daniels told reporters in his weekly media availability session.

    Still, the governor said he can “in theory” support the concept of businesses paying property taxes while homeowners do not.“I see a special status around homeownership,” he said. “It’s the American dream, the core of it.”

    … 

    House Republicans on Thursday called for a vote this session on a constitutional amendment to eliminate property taxes for a person’s principal residence.

    It’s an idea first pushed earlier this week by Sens. Michael Young, R-Indianapolis, and Brent Waltz, R-Greenwood. Senate President Pro Tempore David C. Long, R-Fort Wayne, called the idea intriguing and promising.

    Young and Waltz met with Daniels this week to discuss their proposal and said they were encouraged that the governor is keeping all ideas to cut property taxes on the table.

    Daniels said he told the two he’d “look at about anything, with the exception of an increase in the income tax, which I would be very, very strongly disagreeing with because of its effect on working families, small business and the economy generally.”

    House Speaker B. Patrick Bauer, D-South Bend, has said lawmakers should focus on Daniels’ plan instead of eliminating property taxes.

    Young and Waltz have laid out seven options for replacing the $2.95 billion generated annually by property taxes on homesteads, one of which would increase the income tax. Others include increasing the sales tax, expanding it to new services and implementing a 3 percent transfer fee on the sale of real estate.

    House Republicans have said they would support only a sales tax increase or expansion.

    Daniels, however, said Friday that although he’s not rejecting anything except an income tax increase, he’s not sold on expanding the sales tax to services.

    “I didn’t feel that was a good idea or an idea I wanted to advance,” he said, saying it raises “hundreds of questions” about fairness and the types of services to be taxed that would need to be thought through.

    Lawmakers could choose to expand the sales tax to cover such things as legal and medical services, haircuts, massages and transactions between businesses.
    Michigan last year adopted an expansion of its sales tax to some services — and repealed it in December, 15 hours after the tax took effect, because of public outrage. Businesses such as baby-shoe bronzers and wedding planners argued that it was unfair and confusing.

    If Hoosier lawmakers were to figure out a way to eliminate property taxes on homesteads, Indiana would become the first state in the nation to do so.
    Gerald Prante, a fiscal expert with The Tax Foundation, a national nonpartisan organization that follows tax issues, said several states — including Florida last year — have considered eliminating property taxes and backed off because it would have made their state’s sales tax among the highest in the nation and hurt business.

    Landlocked Indiana, unlike coastal Florida, could see people go to other states to make purchases, Prante said.

    Georgia, he said, also is looking at ways to eliminate property taxes for homeowners.

    “It’s an election year, so you’re going to see this type of stuff,” Prante said. “It may not be good fiscal policy, but if it’s politically popular, they’re going to do it.

    “Getting rid of the property tax on homeowners and not doing anything for business can be pretty politically smart, but not necessarily what you should do.”

    Kevin Brinegar, president of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, said Indiana “would really stand out,” and not in a good way, if the state were the only one in the nation to exempt homeowners from property taxes.

    It would drive business to other states, he said, and would work against some of the other property tax controls that lawmakers are considering, such as referendums on major building projects. Homeowners, freed from property taxes, would have no reason to vote against them, because businesses would be paying the bill, he said.

    But Brinegar conceded the idea is gaining steam in the legislature.

    “There is more political concern and alarm among the legislators than even we imagined there was or expected there was,” he said. “There’s a real sense we’ve got to do something and do something big, regardless of whether it’s good policy. This is not good policy in our view.”

    As a reminder, the Governor will deliver his State of the State Address on Tuesday at 7:00 p.m.  It is scheduled to last 30 minutes.

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