Property-tax bill would hurt seniors

March 2, 2009
The state Senate has approved a proposal to put limits on property tax bills into the Indiana Constitution. The measure now moves to the House for consideration.

The proposal would limit property taxes to 1 percent of the assessed value of the house. Thus, if your house is appraised at $150,000, you would pay no more than $1,500 a year in property taxes.

There are two major problems with this proposal:

• As a constitutional amendment, property taxes would become permanent and virtually irreversible.

• The amendment would have no effect on how high the assessed value of the house could be. For example, your $150,000 assessment today could be twice that tomorrow.

Let's hope the House defeats the proposal. Let's hope our politicians seek alternative means to raise the funds the state needs, and eliminate property taxes altogether as many other states have done.

Retired people living on a fixed income have no way to raise extra money to pay for property taxes. To produce extra funds, they are forced to cut their food budget, or choose between paying taxes or buying medication, or fall in arrears in other equally critical areas. There is no relief for seniors, even after spending 50 to 60 years in the work force.

Mike La Bonne
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