First of all, allow us to introduce ourselves. We, like you, call New Albany our home. We live, work and raise our families here. We pay high sewer bills and high property taxes and we have a VOICE...
In fact the last couple of month's we've been burning the roads up from New Albany to Indianapolis fighting for you and what we believe in and that is Fair Property Taxes.
Yes, we do Support Abolishing Property Taxes.
But, it looks like to us property owners this plan will not fly yet. So if our legislators and Governor Daniels caps our property taxes at 1% that is at least a start for Property Tax Reform.
We have been meeting with other citizens activists all over the 92 counties of our State.
They are now hearing the same CRAP which we recently read in the local C/J dated Wednesday Feb. 13, 2008.
And we quote:
The tax plan would reduce the city's property tax revenue by an estimated $377,000 next year and about $353,000 in 2010. That's about 1.4 percent of the city's total budget, including revenue it collects to PAY DEBTS.
"I can't make it" without major cuts, England said today, "It will be a firehouse or six police officers - no ifs, ands or buts about it."
First of all, that sounds like a THREAT Mayor England.
Second, if you are not up to the task as mayor why not step down and let someone else do what needs to be done for us citizens of New Albany!
We live within a budget why can't you?
Thirdly, we property taxpayers have been hearing this THREAT for the last 16 years by 2 other mayors. If you think Mayor England that you are going to "bully us" into giving in to your other "feel good projects" you are sadly mistaken this time.
This is not 1991 it's the 21st century!
Let's look at what you SAY and what YOU HAVE DONE in the first 30 days of your new adminstration:
* YOU HAVE hired two Deputy Mayors
* YOU HAVE hired an asst. for one Deputy Mayor
* YOU HAVE pushed for employee raises
* YOU HAVE received a $11,000 raise
* YOU HAVE a 2nd Code Enforcement Officer
* YOU WANT 4 part-time attorneys beside our city attorney
= TAXPAYERS DOLLARS
Have we forgotten anything else that you have done in the first 30 days?
England's new adminstration has already violated:
* Ordinance: G-06-20
* IC 36-9-23-4
* IC 36-4-7-3
* 30.01 (B)
Let's give the citizens of New Albany the facts and the "real numbers" on where property tax dollars go Mayor England:
Use of Property Tax Money in the City of New Albany in 2007:
* 66% TO OPERATE OUR CITY
* 14% CAPITAL
* 20% City OF NEW ALBANY DEBT
Source: Indiana Department of Local Government Finance
Who Paid Property Taxes in the City of New Albany in 2007:
* 74.2% Residential
* 13.7% Commercial
* 3.9% Industrial
* 5.4% Agriculture
* 0.4% Utility
* 5.4% Exempt from Property Taxes
Source: Gail Snyder Auditor for the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance for Floyd County
Property taxes in Indiana are administered at the local level with oversight by the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance. DLGF states that more than 99 percent of the revenue generated by our property taxes remain in our community.Source: Gail Snyder DLGF
Let's look at EDIT, Rainy Day, and Riverboat Funds.
Mayor England, have you looked at the balance in these funds that might help to bail you out?
We can't help you with this information because the City Controller has refused to make this information public.
So we went to the Department of Local Government Finace for answers:
2008 CAGIT DISTRIBUTIONS:
Floyd County ~ 2008 Certified Shares - $2,997,380
New Albany Civil City ~2008 Cerified Shares - $3,722,397
2008 EDIT DISTRIBUTIONS:
Floyd County ~ 2008 Certified Shares - $2,185,381
New Albany Civil City ~2008 Certified Shares - $2,731,466
Source: Department of Local Government FinanceTake the $377,000 from EDIT and your problem is solved!
Freedom Of Speech also received the following e-mail dated:
January 11, 2008
Dear Taxpayers of New Albany,
Last year, increases in property taxes around the state spurred a call-to-action at all levels of government to ensure a fair and equitable property tax system for all Hoosier taxpayers.
Property taxes are the primary source of funding for local governments.
Thus, increases - or decreases - in property taxes are a result of "total local spending and fiscal management." The Citizen's Petition and Romonstrance is also part of that effort so taxpayers can ensure their voices are heard.
The DLGF is continully working to assist taxpayers in understanding local government taxation and holding local units of government accountable for responsible spending.
Cheryl A.W. Musgrave
Freedom of Speech would like to say:Same old scare tactics, we will have to cut back essential services. As usual we see no mention of cuts that involve administrative assistants, billing clerks, engineers, attorneys , consultants or any number of other "essential" personal. Also, no mention of anyone having to give up a take home car, cell phones, perks or why not freeze spending.
Just the tip of the iceberg, but the only cuts our mayor can find are police and fire.
Mayor England...Where have you been? The New Albany Taxpayers have been crying for RELIEF from the high property tax bills. Do you not intend to listen to the Voices of the Taxpayers?
You're driving around town in a $50,000 automobile that the taxpayers are paying for.
Your Deputy Mayors are driving around in city own cars.
Is it true that our city has provided former Mayor Garner a city owned vehicle in his new sewer position?
You as Mayor are only trying to protect your projects, instead of "tightening your spending" to provide relief to property taxpayers.
What do we property taxpayers do with our budgets when our car breaks down, or our kids get sick and when we have large gas or electric bills this winter? We either cut back or go and get another job or work overtime!
But this City, they give raises, don't follow Indiana statues, and continue to appropriate more money. They stack the boards and play political favorites to get what they want.
Then they threaten to cut services. Why cut services when the City of New Albany taxpayers aren't getting what we paid for anyway?
The burden is always put on the backs of the property owners!
Now England's answer to all of this is:
Five to six officers could lose their jobs or a fire station might be shut down. "Show me the fat and I'll cut it off. We're at bare bones now."
Our reply Mayor England to you is "Bull-shit." Cut your payroll, lay five to six officers off and stop threating us property taxpayers!
Freedom Of Speech does not have all the answers, but, we sure know when we are not being given the whole truth!