Property tax reform is now Indiana law. Hoosier homeowners are thrilled. But many corporate leaders grumble the historic deal was brokered on the backs of business. Topping their concerns is the new 3-percent property tax cap for commercial and industrial properties, which they fear will slow business expansions and discourage companies from moving headquarters to the state.
The debt strategy Gov. Mitch Daniels’ top financial officials developed to save the state money on major projects like
Lucas Oil Stadium has turned sour.
The “event data recorder,” a so-called black box car makers have installed in their cars over the last decade and a half as
part of air-bag systems, can be a double-edged sword for motorists. Yet they likely don’t even know it’s spying from under
their seat or dashboard.
Northwest Airlines flight 1829–stranded on a Detroit taxiway for seven hours with lavatories overflowing and the 198 souls
aboard without food or water–has now landed at the Indiana General Assembly. Two Republican lawmakers have proposed creating
an “airline consumer advocate” to resolve disputes on behalf of passengers who’ve endured poor service.
Here’s a political hot potato that so far has received little discussion in the rancorous debate over property-tax reform:
Should the enormous costs of helping impoverished Hoosiers continue to be funded county by county, or spread to taxpayers
As legislators prepare to overhaul the state’s property-tax system, Marion County’s future hangs in the balance. Indianapolis
residents–particularly in the city’s older, urban core–already pay far higher taxes than their suburban counterparts. And
arguably get less bang for their buck. Changes on the table could make Marion County an even tougher sell.
Indiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Atterholt says his philosophy toward consumer protection is to be tough on the “bad actors,”
but friendly toward the “good actors”;–in part, so he can call for their help when needed.Not everyone is convinced, however,
because Atterholt has done so much in his 2-1/2 years as commissioner to promote industry causes.
The property-tax reassessment process that Gov. Mitch Daniels ordered last month will take five months and cost up to $3 million.
But don’t expect it to significantly alter the property-tax equation, warns Franklin Township Assessor Becky Williams, who
also serves as president of the Indiana Assessors Association.
Indiana deliberately chose not to invest the tens of millions necessary for technology that could provide an accurate property-tax
forecast. Instead, the state relied on an aging patchwork of property tax software that allows officials only to guess whether
assessed valuations of homes and businesses are correct.
A former head of the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance says some Marion County homeowners soon could see property-tax
increases of as much as 50 percent–far higher than government officials estimated. In part, that’s because of Indiana’s decision
five years ago to abolish the inventory tax.
Taxes on Marion County commercial and industrial properties soon may go up sharply. The Indiana Department of Local Government
Finance, which oversees the state property tax system, has ordered a complete reassessment of the county's commercial
and industrial properties.
Thanks to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development’s increased collection efforts, the state has recouped millions
of dollars in unpaid unemployment insurance taxes since January 2006. But one in eight Hoosier businesses remains delinquent.
After about seven months without a leader, the Indiana Small Business Development Center network has found one in Jeff Heinzmann. An attorney by training, the 39-year-old is charged with getting the statewide system of 11 regional centers on track in their efforts to help entrepreneurs get started and grow. Despite their connection, the Indiana centers for the most part have operated independently, and some-like the central Indiana office serving Marion and the surrounding counties-have struggled for stability. Heinzmann aims to…