Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Ballard Supporters Must Give Up Property Tax Issue to Criticize Kennedy Education Plan

I was reading the Indy Star online when I noticed this ad.

Mayor Greg Ballard
98.5% of homeowners’ property taxes are lower now than in 2007

It was a simple ad. There was no art connected to it or anything, but I found it as perfect fodder to those that are criticizing Melina Kennedy for taking on education as a key piece of her campaign when the Mayor has little direct control over it. I think that's a weak counterargument to Kennedy's strong position on education: that a Mayor who is actively involved in the conversation CAN make a difference.

In contrast, Greg Ballard is taking sole credit for lowering property taxes when he did little but advocate for them. He used the "bully pulpit" of the Mayor's Office to throw his support behind the tax caps that have crippled city and county government. All the while, fees and other taxes have gone up. Now, the city is apparently using TIF district funds to give the illusion of a balanced budget.

Voters approved those property tax caps after they were passed by the Indiana General Assembly. It remains to be seen how much Ballard actually had to do with the issue other than a good argument in favor of caps. Ballard's advocacy of the issue is EXACTLY, in my view, what Kennedy is proposing to do for education reform in the city.

Thus, when you hear a Ballard supporter denigrate Kennedy for her advocacy for our schools, tell them that they have to take Ballard's role in reducing property taxes off the table, too.


Paul K. Ogden said...

You also should have mentioned that part of the tradeoff for lower property taxes was higher sales tax. Ballard didn't have anything to do with lower property taxes.

Anonymous said...

Oh please no more LIES BALLARD! My taxes went up and all because they did a big re assessment. keeping my house at a higher value then can sell at .. where did his 98 % come from?? I sure Doubt this figure..

Anonymous said...

I usually do not agree with him, but Paul Ogden is correct. Few people understand what Mitch did. Because Mitch's property tax caps were just a shell game to redistribute more taxes to the poor and screw cities where Democrats live. Just look at where circuit breakers hit. P{laces like Indianapolis, South Bend Terre Haute, Kokomo, Eas Chicago...
Sales taxes rose for poor people who consume most if not all of their income, while people with expensive homes got the biggest breaks on their property taxes. In Indianapolis, where the average assessed value is in the $120,000 range, the average home owner essentially saw $0 savings because they already had their homestead exemption relieving them of most of their assessment. Yet they got higher sales taxes on things they consumed. People with million dollar homes got big savings because Mitch exempted a good portion of the assessed value of homes over $600,000. So people in Indianapolis where MHI is $43,500 are paying more in taxes (property and sales) than they did before. But it gets even better when our accidental Mayor got duped into supporting higher taxes for his citizens and a lower revenue base from which the City is supposed to serve its citizens....because Mitch kept all of the sales taxes for the State to redistribute for schools, and look what schools are getting the biggest hits to their funding.....