Senate panel favors end to township a...

Senate panel favors end to township assessors in Indiana

There are 76 comments on the The Indianapolis Star story from Jan 10, 2008, titled Senate panel favors end to township assessors in Indiana. In it, The Indianapolis Star reports that:

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.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at The Indianapolis Star.

Her we go again

Columbus, IN

#21 Jan 10, 2008
Those of you complaining that this will not do anything, give me a break. This is the first week of the session and at least they are trying to do something. Sure you may not see much of a savings from the elimination of the township assesor but a few dollars her and a few dollars there will add up.

I think this is sending a big message to all of the government, shape up or get eliminated. We have to start somewhere. Those of you that just complain and say we can't do this or that, shut up. You need to stop being a part of the problem and start developing solutions. I am tired of the "we can't do it because..." that we have all over the government right now. We can't eliminate property taxes because we will make a superintendent unhappy, or make a library unhappy or a police chief unhappy. Give me a break.

We are all going to have certain parts of this reform that we like and others that we do not but things have to change. We have stood by way too long and just let it stay the same. Look at what the article said, back in 1935 it was recommended that we eliminate the township acessor. 73 years later we are getting around to it. We were years behind everyone else in adopting daylight savings time. I could go one but the point is we have to change our way of thinking. We have to make changes for our futures and our children's futures.

My suggestion is to stop complaining and start offering some solutions. Be vocal about what can be done to make changes not about why we can't make the changes!!
Alumni

Bloomington, IN

#23 Jan 10, 2008
The Senators pushing this are the same ones that CAUSED the problem in the first place, that is, eliminating the inventory tax and forcing the burden on to homeowners. They gave no thought to cause/effect, they just wanted to be on record for voting to "cut taxes" and thus perpetuate their government job.

These senators are the ones that need eliminated. They act so innocent and indignant and yet have been,and continue to be,the root of the problem.
thanks

Indianapolis, IN

#24 Jan 10, 2008
How many more jobs is Indiana going to lose ? I work for a township assessor and now I will lose my job even though I always did it correctly. The assessors were made a scapegoat by the media and the corrupt politicians after they raised the tax rates and eliminated the business inventory tax. I guarantee the majority of people's tax bills will be no different, it will just be more of a mess with the merger to county. And now countless people will lose jobs, forget about the elected assessors, many hardworking and underpaid people will be out on the streets. Indianapolis is on the fasttrack to being the new Flint, Michigan. I am going to have to move to find employment. Thanks.
thanks

Indianapolis, IN

#25 Jan 10, 2008
Sure you may not see much of a savings from the elimination of the township assesor but a few dollars her and a few dollars there will add up.

What if it was your job ?
troschne

Zionsville, IN

#26 Jan 10, 2008
I want some of the meds you are on. I bought my 80+ year-old home in 2005, and my taxes went up 300% last summer, causing my mortgage payment to increase by $200/month. I have done no improvements (thankfully, my home didn't need any, other than replacing my roof--which was brand-new--after the 2006 hail storm). I have a very small yard, and my house is a two-bedroom, one-bath. There is NO excuse for the massive increase in my property tax. I say fire them ALL!!!!!!!!!!
txpayer33 wrote:
<quoted text>
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.
Indpls Resident

Indianapolis, IN

#27 Jan 10, 2008
txpayer33 wrote:
<quoted text>
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.
Hmmm, that's interesting. Can you then tell me why it is that my two-bedroom, two-bath under 2,000 square foot home in was assessed at a higher value than most of my neighbors' much larger (4,000 square feet and up) brick/stone homes w/ multiple car garages and pools?
Greg Bowes

Indianapolis, IN

#28 Jan 10, 2008
Harry Hooiser wrote:
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.
I have been meaning to update my campaign web site ever since getting elected, but now I am glad I did not. If you check my campaign position statement, available at http://www.gregbowes.org/issues/commentary/Pl... , you will see that I was advocating for the elimination of township assessors long before I got elected, and well before the property tax crisis that occurred in 2006.
murrayman

Carmel, IN

#29 Jan 10, 2008
Wrong, Daniels is at least making our state a healthy one and trying to rectify the problem created by the Democrats. The responsibility of the hugh property tax increases we at the hands of the 51 Democrats in the Indiana General Assembly who voted for the increase. All 49 Republicans voted against it. Yes, we should get rid of legislators who are bleeding the citizens of Indiana to death with their tax and spend mentality. Smaller government is a solution, and that reduction has already started.
Bud Barton wrote:
Next vote should be from the tax payers
to get rid of the State Legislators &
Daniel's
Champy

Columbus, IN

#30 Jan 10, 2008
So we effectively fire 1000 assessors, and have all the work done by 92??

So instead of battling the variability of assessments across the county, we'll be battling with an overworked, understaffed, unqualified single county office..who won't have the time to properly assess every piece of property in the county.

This is just begging to become a customer support disaster. Even if my townhship assessor made errors, they are available and willing to work with you to correct any discrepancies. Now if there is a problem, I'll have to enter the county government juggernaut and pray for divine intervention. Good luck competing with everyone else in the whole county and getting an audience with your new assessor who will never have the time to review your problems.
No Fan of Eastern DST

South Bend, IN

#31 Jan 10, 2008
TheEducator wrote:
<quoted text>
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.
I purposely left out the part about the fact that we are in the same school corporation(five townships in two counties,but that is another story). The biggest difference is that my township lost little to no tax base from the loss of the inventory tax where as my friends township lost a bundle since that township is home to several auto dealers and factories. So the inventory tax affects people in various ways.
papapee

Fishers, IN

#32 Jan 10, 2008
troschne wrote:
I want some of the meds you are on. I bought my 80+ year-old home in 2005, and my taxes went up 300% last summer, causing my mortgage payment to increase by $200/month. I have done no improvements (thankfully, my home didn't need any, other than replacing my roof--which was brand-new--after the 2006 hail storm). I have a very small yard, and my house is a two-bedroom, one-bath. There is NO excuse for the massive increase in my property tax. I say fire them ALL!!!!!!!!!!
<quoted text>
I can feel your pain, but in all fairness, what did you pay for you house in 2005? If it was the same as the assessed value, then the problem is not your assessment, but rather the rate, which is not the fault of the township assessor. And if you did pay less than its assessed value, that is easy to fix by filing an appeal. Just because your assessment went up 300% does not mean the system is broken, you set the value for your home when you paid what you did for it, and the taxes are what they are based on that. Spending is most likely your problem, not your assessed value.
Old Roy

Newport, KY

#33 Jan 10, 2008
Abolish the income tax, all property taxes. One sales tax and then fire the IRS and all the accountants. We need less government not more.

“Monkey See, Monkey Do”

Since: Oct 07

Indy

#34 Jan 10, 2008
Rest assured, they will find somewhere else to waste the mony they are going to save by doing this.
Too Much TV

Indianapolis, IN

#35 Jan 10, 2008
thanks wrote:
How many more jobs is Indiana going to lose ? I work for a township assessor and now I will lose my job even though I always did it correctly. The assessors were made a scapegoat by the media and the corrupt politicians after they raised the tax rates and eliminated the business inventory tax. I guarantee the majority of people's tax bills will be no different, it will just be more of a mess with the merger to county. And now countless people will lose jobs, forget about the elected assessors, many hardworking and underpaid people will be out on the streets. Indianapolis is on the fasttrack to being the new Flint, Michigan. I am going to have to move to find employment. Thanks.
What better reason could there be to keep bloated government payroll? Certainly 3rd Assistant Deputy Assessor sounds much better than Welfare Recipient.

By the way - have you ever seen the North Township Assessor's Office in Lake County? Yes - the same one that screwed up and put Inland Steel on the tax rolls twice ... they probably have 50 "employees" - certainly we wouldn't want to put any of theses qualified hard working individuals out of a job either - I mean Gary could turn in to Flint!
Dude

Fort Huachuca, AZ

#36 Jan 10, 2008
txpayer33 wrote:
<quoted text>
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.
You've blown your cover. Yuu must be the Pike Township Assessor.

Now that I know who you are, what's up with Franklin township?
Snaggle Tooth

Lebanon, IN

#37 Jan 10, 2008
Eliminate all townships. What use are they anyway?
Becky Williams

Indianapolis, IN

#38 Jan 10, 2008
Harry Hooiser wrote:
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.
This bill turns all assessment duties over to the ELECTED county assessor.
Homeowner

United States

#39 Jan 10, 2008
I do not think the legislature still understands the entire picture. Eliminating township assessors is a good start, however, Assessed value is NOT representative of ability to pay in many cases!! Thus eliminate all assessors and create a system that is not based on assessed value!!Assessed value based taxes will never be fair!! Move to Sales Tax etc.!!!!
Too Much TV

Indianapolis, IN

#41 Jan 10, 2008
Becky Williams wrote:
<quoted text>
This bill turns all assessment duties over to the ELECTED county assessor.
Ms. Williams is correct - there are 2 major problems with this proposal:

1. putting the elected county assessor in charge (chief assessor should be appointed just like the head of department of revenue) and

2. not an issue in Marion County - but in smaller, rural counties - the county is too small of a district for a professionally run assessment jurisdiction.
No Fan of Eastern DST

South Bend, IN

#42 Jan 10, 2008
Snaggle Tooth wrote:
Eliminate all townships. What use are they anyway?
This post just explains one thing. There will be no one size fits all answer to this problem. Currently township government is the only form of government I have. I live in an unincorporated area of LaPorte County and my nearest city/post office is in a different township/county.

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