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.


Indianapolis, IN

#43 Jan 10, 2008
TheEducator wrote:
Oh, and you won't save $71 - it will just shift line items from township to county,
I think not exactly. The cost for assessors is already in the county part of your tax bill. The township component is the Trustee and his/her duties.
It will take six lawyers and four CPAs to tell you what the financial impact was. Even then, you may have 10 close-but-different answers.
Brad in Indy

Indianapolis, IN

#44 Jan 10, 2008
"But Sen. Connie Lawson, the Danville Republican who authored SB 16, said the point is not savings, but finding a better system that can give homeowners confidence that they are being treated fairly and equitably."

Why do so many continue to talk about savings from this move? The same number of properties have to be assessed. Even Sen. Lawson says savings are not the point and that, in fact, more money will be spent on the assessment process because the point is to buy "homeowner confidence". Spending more money on an ongoing process does not create savings.

As Champy said above, we'd be better off with township assessors because they are accessable; and, apparently, actually cheaper. My own experience and research indicates most of the valuation problems are caused by the State's Dept. of Local Govt. Finance (DLGF) rules which each assessor must follow. Another demonstration of a basic truth: the further government is removed from the citizen, the worse it gets.

Palm Desert, CA

#45 Jan 10, 2008
pitboss wrote:
Now what are township trustees going to do? Might as well get rid of them as well.
Right on! Cut, cut, cut. Does anyone know what a township trustee does for the citizens?

Remember the 4 Bozos that voted against this bill come election time. Throw the bums out!

Indianapolis, IN

#46 Jan 10, 2008
No Fan of Eastern DST wrote:
<quoted text>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.
Fair enough. Still essentially a tax district, not assessment, issue.
Carl Hoffman

Spokane, WA

#47 Jan 10, 2008
Assessors should be called guessers! No one can tell the value of real estate until it sold and money in the bank. We are in a real estate slump and taxes remain high,not fair. Remove the property tax on real estate and move to sales tax. We know taxes are needed to run government we just ask that it be fair. All should pay, leagal or illegal, rich or poor. Sales tax will do that and remove a layer of government that made the current mess we are in. We are not serf/s who desire to work the land/business that we can have taken away by taxes. The word entitlements was not found in Webster's dictionary till 1960. To many want a free lunch, there are none, someone pays but some do eat free. The government can only give to others what it has taken from someone else. Wake up citizens and vote the home or business you save may be your own. Only reason elected officials like property taxes is because they know people will pay to keep their home or business, that is taxing by fear not repersentation. Sales tax on property when sold if need be but cut spending of the government entitlements first.
Tired of Townships

Indianapolis, IN

#48 Jan 10, 2008
Let's not stop at eliminating the assessors. Township gov't as a whole needs to go. It worked well when we still used horse and carriage to travel. It's an antiquated system.
Stupid chargers fan

United States

#49 Jan 10, 2008
I can't wait to see all of these worthless govt jobs eliminated! It would be great if they went downtown to the govt building and started cleaning out that rats nest. There are way too many govt jobs. Time for these idiots to get a job that I don't have to pay for
Carl Hoffman

Spokane, WA

#50 Jan 10, 2008
The size of a home or business in no way tell real value. Only way to really know a value it when someone purchases something. That is when taxes should be collected. Rick pay more in may ways, higher income more taxes. They puchase more higher sales taxes collected. Fair means fair to all and only sales tax allows for that. It also allows citizens to decide what when and where to purchase. Exempt only food land and medicial cost and put a sales tax on everything else. Everything is in the open and elimiates layers of government not needed. No special tax abatements or deals for anyone period. Then cut the entitlements now in place and reduce waste. Some will lose their jobs, just as many have already. When the workers are taxed to much we risk everything falling in for all. Citizens will help neighbors and other in need if they are allowed to and have the funds. When government takes over it becomes a mess.

Elmhurst, IL

#51 Jan 10, 2008 TAX is keeping under control that way they live under roof that is important in our life. Let Sales TAX increase higher as EVERYONE has to pay whenever you purchase...that is fair to everyone not nail on the homeowners only.
H C activist

Monon, IN

#52 Jan 10, 2008
I read nothing about a provision to reduce the number of paid people below current levels. This means there will be no savings. Probably an increase due to more Health insurance, Retirement funding, and higher salaries.

Don't care if they eliminate but, legislate the numbers must come down.
Karl Marx

Monon, IN

#53 Jan 10, 2008
Carl, your mantra is pretty boring. Address this issue and quit with the serf thing.
Actually propose solution that make sense. Qit complaining without really offering a SOLUTION.

Here's one, if sales tax is going to be the major source of revenue, it can only be distributed back to the area it came from. This area would be defined as, within 3 miles.

Now, I know that if I spend money in my town, my town will benefit. I don't want to subsidize IPS or Indy, or any other area that has p*ss poor management.
This idea also forces more retail commercial development and makes it so more people can walk to diferent types of businesses (simply because they're within 3 miles). But, then again, Indiana has more fat *ssess than just about every other state so, maybe there will be a second and third benefit in reduced health insurance costs, and less medical costs from deceases attributed to being fat.

United States

#54 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.
I would like to correct you... the purpose of the elimination of the assessors has more to do with getting rid of the bloat in government than the quality of the bloat. Therefore, you completly miss the point in wishing everyone retains their jobs. Sorry, it's time to reduce the size and expense of government and I don't care where they start as long as they keep going.

New York, NY

#55 Jan 10, 2008
Eliminate Property Taxes all together and we don't even have to have this discussion anymore!

New York, NY

#56 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.
And Becky Williams...if you are so good at this, explain why two house behind me in Franklin Township are identical, but have a $50k difference in assessment. The owners in one of those homes have been trying to get it fixed for months. 23 years of experience can be replaced.

Same square footage = same basements = same garages = both have pools = SAME's not rocket science.

New York, NY

#57 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.
Eliminating the brick buildings and nice offices those townships assessors have will be a cost savings. So don't say there won't be a savings. Once the country assessor can just assess based on square footage then we can get consistent.

Indianapolis, IN

#58 Jan 10, 2008
Z06king wrote:
<quoted text>
I would like to correct you... the purpose of the elimination of the assessors has more to do with getting rid of the bloat in government than the quality of the bloat. Therefore, you completly miss the point in wishing everyone retains their jobs. Sorry, it's time to reduce the size and expense of government and I don't care where they start as long as they keep going.
My comments were not that I think they should leave everything the same as it is right now. If they are to consolidate to a county assessor level, some employees will be retained and some will be let go. I feel that the workers at Pike Township should be retained.
Snaggle Tooth

Lebanon, IN

#59 Jan 10, 2008
No Fan of Eastern DST wrote:
<quoted text>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.
Exactly my point. The governing body should be LaPorte county.


#60 Jan 10, 2008
Everyone PLEASE print off this page that shows the four Senators who voted against this and be sure they are defeated in the next election!

Euclid, OH

#61 Jan 10, 2008
For years the Assessors have fought the idea of Market Value and have created arcane and mysterious ways of arriving at a value. In most cases a 5-minute visit from an appraiser or real estate broker could come up with a more realistic valuation than the one the Assessor's pull from thin air, or some bodily orifice.

The judge in Lake County started the state down this path by requiring market value instead of "tax value" and it will be screwed up for years. It needed to be done but hang on, its only going to get worse.

By the way, I'm assuming everyone knows that Connie Lawson's husband is a licensed real estate appraiser?


Pendleton, IN

#62 Jan 10, 2008
Township Assessors do not set the tax rates, state DLGF and local government do. Look at how much you are paying for school corp. easily 45% of your tax bill. Check our your corporation taxes you pay. Indianapolis residents live in a consolidated city, better hold your council, legislators feet to the fire.
You sure are going to miss the township offices, when you don't have them to raise your problems to and you have to find a ride to the county office. Remember this when you have a problem

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