Stopping the tax buck

We Hoosiers are getting value from the libraries, schools and other public services we fund with our taxes, but not enough
valueâ??at least according to Mike Hicks, who moved from Ohio this year to take over the Bureau of Business Research at Ball
State University.

Legions of board members across the state make reasoned decisions to add wings to libraries and build schools to try to improve
quality of life. The problem, Hicks says, is the collective weight of all those spending decisions drives up the overall tax
bill more than most communities can justify.

If the overall tax bill were in line with the value of services received, Indiana housing values would be rising faster, his
research shows. Home values would rise because people would consider the towns or neighborhoods good places to live and bid
up the price.

Hicksâ?? solution is to route all local spending decisions through one local office or commission â?? someone charged with deciding
whether the library wing or school is the better use of money.

Do you agree with him?

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