Wednesday, April 02, 2008


Recent reform legislation passed by the General Assembly and signed by Daniels looked skewed from the beginning. The more appearance of segregating people into groups or labeling property based on its utilitarian value smacks against the grain of "uniform and equal" derived from our Indiana Constitution.

How can some people be more equal than others?

How can some property next door to you be worth more or less than yours and be "classed" differently?

Is the new law inherently flawed and discriminatory?

Is this experiment of capping too new to initiate a process for being codified in our Constitution?

Many for repeal say that a fundamental mandate goes too far and too difficult to change once it has been done. Those who attended found solace that some reform was better than nothing, including yours truly who commented that this was an "historic blunder."

Indiana Farm Bureau is disappointed in the "circuit breaker" concept and the three-tier cap system, which discriminates among the classes of property. The multi-tier system will cause a major shift of property taxes away from homeowners to farmland and business.

The farm group is also concerned a constitutional amendment will make the "untested" circuit breaker concept permanent and extremely difficult to change.

"Even simple bills need legislative rewrites annually." Now we are considering amending our Constitution that has endured the test of time, with a legislative proposal that was only debated during one short session.

Another major concern for Farm Bureau members stated was the introduction of a supplemental deduction above the $45,000 standard deduction for homesteads. The first $60,000 of additional assessed value will be entitled to an additional deduction of 35 percent and everything above that to an additional 25 percent deduction.

These deduction will lower the total assessed value in the taxing district and require the levy to be generated on a smaller total assessed value, resulting in a higher tax rate on the assessed value that remains.

Since farmland and farm equipment will not benefit from the supplemental deduction, farmers will pay more.

There will be much discussion on HEA 1001 and SJR1 during the coming months.