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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Shill trolls

United States

#63 Jan 10, 2008
"txpayer33"?
"wrr49"?

Weird. I'll bet those were posted from township offices. Pike Township certainly.

Anyway, kudos to Sen. Connie Lawson. This idea was discussed at our table at an Indiana Commission on Local Government Reform public forum. With a Township Trustee among us. He agreed.

The head of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce wrote an op-ed recently encouraging the Legislature to tackle the reform stuff prior to revamping the tax system. Gotta put the horse before the cart. This is a good step.

Hopefully they'll work towards a system NOT based on constantly re-assessing due to market fluctuations. It should only happen upon sale of the property, or major improvements, or some other tangible factor - like a rendering plant opens next door, and your property value plummets.

And no, sorry, property owners, the rest of us aren't going to share the maintenance of your relative affluence by allowing your property taxes to be eliminated so our sales and income taxes can pay an equal share of the police firemen infrastructure etc which your private property requires. Ain't gonna happen.
Angry Mob

Indianapolis, IN

#64 Jan 10, 2008
TARGETS FOR ELECTION DEFEAT IN NEXT ELECTION

Voting No
Sen. Mike Young, R-Indianapolis
Sen. Sue Landske, R-Cedar Lake
Sen. Robert Deig, D-Mount Vernon
Sen. Tim Lanane, D-Anderson
Angry Mob

Indianapolis, IN

#65 Jan 10, 2008
I would love to see a legislative session completely dominated on finding government costs to eliminate.

No tax shell games or new taxes.
LOL

United States

#66 Jan 10, 2008
pitboss wrote:
Now what are township trustees going to do? Might as well get rid of them as well.
GET RID OF THEM ALSO LOL....
Harry Hooiser

United States

#67 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.
Now you can get a job where you actually add value to the economy, rather than just being a cost.

Since: Nov 07

New Palestine, IN

#69 Jan 11, 2008
Comedy Routine wrote:
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.


Welcome to Marion County! Thanks to the income tax increase and increases in health insurance costs, I make less money than I made last year in THE SAME position. I truly wish you the best of luck!!
T Miller

Sellersburg, IN

#70 Jan 11, 2008
Angry Mob wrote:
TARGETS FOR ELECTION DEFEAT IN NEXT ELECTION
Voting No
Sen. Mike Young, R-Indianapolis
Sen. Sue Landske, R-Cedar Lake
Sen. Robert Deig, D-Mount Vernon
Sen. Tim Lanane, D-Anderson
Why are you only listing these four? Why not get rid of them all?
mike ladski

Wilkinson, IN

#71 Jan 18, 2008
Franklin Township Assessor BECKY WILLIAMS is crying hard. Not only is she on the payroll, but at least three family members and several friends will be in the soup-line with her. Breaks my heart.
mike ladski

Wilkinson, IN

#72 Jan 18, 2008
Southsider wrote:
<quoted text>
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 TAXES....it's not rocket science.
She probably cant tell you why the assessments are different, but i can. She or one of her relatives probably knows one of the homeowners. Guess which one. Can fatso also explain why her property taxes were lowered last year. She wont apply for employment in the cc building for several reasons, one being that they know about her crooked ways, and also they have physicals and drug tests, which her office doesnt have. Believe me, justice is being served, especially to those in FT.
mike ladski

Wilkinson, IN

#73 Jan 18, 2008
Champy wrote:
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.
Champy, I am an experienced landlord, and believe me, things are much more efficient and fair in the city county building. Wouldnt you rather drive a little further and maybe pay a few bucks for parking in order to be treated fairly. Take it from a guy who had to sell his home because he wasnt one of the franklin township assessors pals. These good ol boys and girls have been screwing too many folks for too long, theyre on their way out, so let go.
mike ladski

Wilkinson, IN

#74 Jan 18, 2008
People, people, people, the vote is in, the good ol boys and girls are out, you will be treated fairly now. Property appraisals are very simple, its not that difficult, it can and will be handled with ease in the city county building. These criminals in the townships are nothing but deadweight. Take Franklin Township as an example. Anyone know how many relatives Becky Williams has on her payroll? I believe abou 150,000.00 worth just in salary. That doesnt include rent to Mascari on the nice office, or any benefits and extra perks. The outgoing assessors are trying to scare you. I can tell you from experience that the folks in the city county building can handle this transition effortlessly and fairly. Relax, a lot of people have worked hard and long to get rid of these criminals. Not all the assessors and employees are bad people, but a lot of them are, especially the ones mentioned. Im sure that the ones who have nothing to hide can probably find work in the citycounty building, doing the same thing they are doing. The ones that arent on the up-and-up need not apply. They do have rules and regulations downtown, and the employees have to be on the job, not sitting in a restaurant or bar like the folks in the ft asssessors office do almost daily. Everybody be happy and support and enjoy the new government, and remember, no bad deed goes unpunished.
Reality check

Pryor, OK

#75 Jan 18, 2008
Champy wrote:
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.
Indiana has mroe Assessors than California, Texas and Florida combined. Lets get a clue people!
Ron Thomas

Indianapolis, IN

#79 Jan 23, 2008
Reality check wrote:
<quoted text>
Indiana has mroe Assessors than California, Texas and Florida combined. Lets get a clue people!
Okay, let's say Indiana consolidated down to one "Assessor" per county. Let's say those "Assessors" hire all the current township Assessors plus those staff members plus a feww extras. What did you gain? All I see is you gained a smaller number of people with the title of Asseessor but, your tax burden increased. Is this what you see? It is the reality of the situation. There is NO LEGISLATION limiting the number of employees under this consolidated position. There is NO LEGISLATION limiting the budgets of the consolidated position. So, what did you gain? The reality is, you gained someone with more power than theyhad and probably LESS representation and response from that office.

Show me where the legislation limits any part of the consoilidation so we, the taxpayers, are guaranteed a lower cost.
pat from Lake County

United States

#80 Jan 23, 2008
After reading all of the quotes over the past many days......I hope Mike Ladski moves to Lake County so we can elect him.
Here we go again

Columbus, IN

#81 Jan 25, 2008
What you gain is some consistency and the taxpayers know where to go for answers. You also SAVE by not having som many offices, they are all in one place. You save on supplies (economy of scale). You save because all of the staff is being paid by the hour and not a salary.
Ron Thomas wrote:
<quoted text>
Okay, let's say Indiana consolidated down to one "Assessor" per county. Let's say those "Assessors" hire all the current township Assessors plus those staff members plus a feww extras. What did you gain? All I see is you gained a smaller number of people with the title of Asseessor but, your tax burden increased. Is this what you see? It is the reality of the situation. There is NO LEGISLATION limiting the number of employees under this consolidated position. There is NO LEGISLATION limiting the budgets of the consolidated position. So, what did you gain? The reality is, you gained someone with more power than theyhad and probably LESS representation and response from that office.
Show me where the legislation limits any part of the consoilidation so we, the taxpayers, are guaranteed a lower cost.
Ron Thomas

Michigan City, IN

#82 Jan 25, 2008
Here we go again wrote:
What you gain is some consistency and the taxpayers know where to go for answers. You also SAVE by not having som many offices, they are all in one place. You save on supplies (economy of scale). You save because all of the staff is being paid by the hour and not a salary.
<quoted text>
I've called what I believe was the correct department at the county level only to find out that another department oversees that issue. So, I had to make another call. Same applies to this issue. If you call the wrong place, they'll point you in the right direction.
Consistency? There are areas in each county, town, and city that have higher or lower property values than other areas. How are you going to say a gated neighborhood is more or less consistently assessed with a county level than a township? Same applies to a starter neighborhood. Both levels are going to place a higher value on the gated properties than on most other properties. Where did the consistency improve?
In order to improve the consistency of the assessments you need to improve the rules under which the property is being assessed. I can provide links to property that has sold in the last 2 years for a price of around $30,000 per acre and it is assessed at under $10,000. I brought it up in a face-to- face with the Assessor and was told a long list of reasons why. Mostly it had to do with special interest having special legislation to reduce their costs for speculative development. In other words, you have to reduce and limit the personal opinions and human factor if you want more consistency in the assessment process.
I don't really believe the “one space” theory. If it's in one place, it will probably be in the biggest town or city which will carry with it higher lease rates per Sq. Ft. The parking, and other associated costs are typically higher as well. So, there may be a savings but, I don't believe it will be a significant savings.
Salary / hourly, employees get health, comp time, retirement, etc.. Elected positions, for the rural areas, typically do not. So, I think your costs will increase for these line items. And I really believe, since it won't be legislated, they county level WILL HIRE 90 – 95% of the current Assessors and their staff members. Look into the consolidation of IPD and the Sheriff, how many fewer employees are there now in comparison to before? If there are fewer, they were probably moved to a different department not out of budget.
I'll give you supplies, meaning copiers and the basic office equipment. Desks, computers, paper, etc... will probably not be reduced to any degree.
All in all, will the minimal reduction be worth the power consolidation and loss of citizen “input”? This just sets up another position for good old boy politics

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