Senate panel favors end to township assessors in Indiana

To lawmakers searching for ways to cut property tax bills, Wednesday's committee vote to eliminate township assessors was the first step in what will be a long process of government reform. Full Story
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sealionindy

United States

#1 Jan 10, 2008
Contract it out move ahead.
GRW

Indianapolis, IN

#2 Jan 10, 2008
The arguments by township assessors have a hollow ring. If experience is the issue, there is nothing that would prevent the current township assessors from being hired by the single county assessor.

I do buy the argument,though, that a single county assessor may be more expensive. However, VALUE for the dollar spent will likely be greater as well.
Bud Barton

Kendallville, IN

#3 Jan 10, 2008
Next vote should be from the tax payers
to get rid of the State Legislators &
Daniel's
Good

Indianapolis, IN

#4 Jan 10, 2008
Get rid of all of these fiefdoms. These people think that being a township assessor is a family business to be passed on in their wills.
pitboss

Columbus, IN

#5 Jan 10, 2008
Now what are township trustees going to do? Might as well get rid of them as well.
Hmmmmm

Kokomo, IN

#6 Jan 10, 2008
Have any of you ever dealt with a township assessors office? The level of intelligence is....oh well I can't say because of the Stars policy that doesn't allow words like s*T*U*P*I*D because it may hurt feelings. FREEDOM OF SPEECH?
Harry Hooiser

United States

#7 Jan 10, 2008
Trustees are nest.

Can the Star post a list of those who voted to keep the assessors, and help the public become informed of who needs to be sent a message in November??
Harry Hooiser

United States

#8 Jan 10, 2008
Oops! That was trustees are next.

Need to have my coffee before I post ;-)
Harry Hooiser

United States

#9 Jan 10, 2008
Becky Williams, the Franklin Township assessor in Marion County, told the committee that by shifting duties from experienced assessors like herself to newcomers like Bowes, the state is courting disaster.
"This is not about keeping my job," she said. "To do away with township assessors in Marion County right now, which is where the experience lies -- I've been doing this 23 years, and Mr. Bowes has been doing it a year -- it would be a travesty."

Becky - if you are so good at this apply for the Marion County job, as you state Greg should be gone under this plan as he really doesn't have a clue about assessing, and is really only in the job to take the next step up the political ladder.
Harry Hooiser

United States

#10 Jan 10, 2008
This is a great politician, say what the voters want to hear! He didn't talk about this until after the tax blow-up, but now he sings like a canary!

Marion County Assessor Greg Bowes told the committee he'd campaigned in 2006 on a pledge to seek the elimination of township assessors and had become even more convinced that that was the right move since taking office.
The current system, he said, is inefficient because, in Marion County, there are nine township assessors who can use the "subjective discretion" that the system allows to come up with different results.
"What that means is, if some of them are doing it pretty well and some of them are doing it not so well at all, we end up having inequitable assessments," Bowes said.
No Fan of Eastern DST

South Bend, IN

#11 Jan 10, 2008
By cutting township government I will save $71.12 on a $5408.57 tax bill. Great start there guys. Best part about this is a friend of mine in a different township in the same county(LaPorte) has a similar size house an d property yet his taxes are HIGHER than mine so the question is would a single county assessor lower his or raise mine???
tired of the bs

United States

#12 Jan 10, 2008
This is a great move. My property was assessed on a value the assessor pulled out of their @$$. They are also inconsistent with their "stories" on how homes are assessed and they are out of touch with the true value of the homes they are assessing. I was able to get my assessment dropped by 20% because of their inability to back up the numbers they came up with.
resident1

Indianapolis, IN

#13 Jan 10, 2008
The blame for our high tax bills fall squarely on our legislators shoulders. Why you ask? Well any simple minded person knows that if you re-assess houses at the there current market level and use the old tax formula that was based on an assessment that was always low, you going to have a huge increase in your taxes. Don't tell me that our legislators did not know this. THey screwed up and now there using this as a vote getter in the next election.
Comedy Routine

Bloomington, IN

#14 Jan 10, 2008
Robin Ward and all the other qualified assessors can now feel what Hurricane Katrina victims felt when their jobs were eliminated and they had to accept jobs at less pay (some of us even had to move to Indiana).
Don't worry-everyone will tell you "It must be awful or ask how do you cope?". It's still a one-day at a time process especially when you are making less than what your previous position paid.
bonjovifan357

Indianapolis, IN

#15 Jan 10, 2008
We don't need township assessors, we need to cut local government and that's one way of doing it.
Keep it in the Family

Newberry, IN

#16 Jan 10, 2008
Good wrote:
Get rid of all of these fiefdoms. These people think that being a township assessor is a family business to be passed on in their wills.
\
I was thinking the same thing. In my county, the different offices were passed round-robin among relatives (aunts, sisters, nieces...you get the idea). The voters have finally gotten things shaken up a bit.
Joe

AOL

#17 Jan 10, 2008
resident1 wrote:
The blame for our high tax bills fall squarely on our legislators shoulders. Why you ask? Well any simple minded person knows that if you re-assess houses at the there current market level and use the old tax formula that was based on an assessment that was always low, you going to have a huge increase in your taxes. Don't tell me that our legislators did not know this. THey screwed up and now there using this as a vote getter in the next election.
I agree--The Chair of the committe that should have stopped all this property tax issue was Sen. Luke Kenley R-Noblesville. I also agree the Star should publish an ongoing list of all committee members and how they vote on these issues so we have a better idea in Nov of how we want to vote and donate to opposition candidates!
Lake County Resident

United States

#18 Jan 10, 2008
I idea of reduction of government is always a good thing. Reducing and elimiting township assessors without fixing the problems of finding a program that works, we should fix and correct the problems before cutting. The biggest problem in this hole plan is appointing a county assessor. That is where you get political corruption. The taxpayers see this as a power grab for the governor....
TheEducator

Indianapolis, IN

#19 Jan 10, 2008
No Fan of Eastern DST wrote:
By cutting township government I will save $71.12 on a $5408.57 tax bill. Great start there guys. Best part about this is a friend of mine in a different township in the same county(LaPorte) has a similar size house an d property yet his taxes are HIGHER than mine so the question is would a single county assessor lower his or raise mine???
The answer is neither. Different township surely means different school system tax district, which is where 50% or so of your property taxes go. Since you pay for LOCAL schools, not the schools across the county, different school system means different tax rate even if your houses are valued identically.

Oh, and you won't save $71 - it will just shift line items from township to county, as nobody is gonna get fired from this switch. All those county assessors will need all the already trained township employees help to do their jobs.
txpayer33

Indianapolis, IN

#20 Jan 10, 2008
tired of the bs wrote:
This is a great move. My property was assessed on a value the assessor pulled out of their @$$. They are also inconsistent with their "stories" on how homes are assessed and they are out of touch with the true value of the homes they are assessing. I was able to get my assessment dropped by 20% because of their inability to back up the numbers they came up with.
I would like to correct you on a few things. First, your assessment on your home is based from square footage, materials used to construct it (brick or siding), number of plumbing fixtures, decks, garages, porches, and any other fixtures such as a shed, pool, etc.

The Assessors use floor plans that the builders provide and things such as a finished basement and plumbing fixtures are based from those plans because the Assessors do not have access to enter the homes.

Then, the only thing that the Assessor "guesses" at is the grade on the home. That grade is based off of what the DLGF provided as visual examples of different types of homes and what type of grade should be assigned to it.

Then, the taxpayer/property owner can file and appeal if the Assessor listed you for a finished basment and you have a partial finished basement. But remember, the Assessor made a mistake such as this example because they had to base their Assessment on looking at a floor plan.

Also, an Assessor figures sqaure footage by measuring the OUTSIDE of the home...not from room by room figures.

As for township assessors, I don't know where most of live or which township(s) you have to deal with...I have to comment that I deal with Pike, Washington, and Wayne Townships regularly. The individuals at Pike Township are clearly above the rest in knowledge, customer friendly and responding to appeals.

No matter what happens, I hope all of those employees are retained if this bill is passed and consolidations occurs.

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