We have our attacks of Indy Envy here from time to time, but it's apparently at epidemic levels in northwestern Indiana:
Lake County residents have been hollering since reassessment and the switch to market value about soaring property taxes. That's especially true in North Lake County, where the enormous tax breaks given to heavy industry amplified the property tax problems.
So, the Legislature threw a bone and offered up the 2 percent cap on property taxes, not knowing that had little impact on some homes in the Miller section of Gary. And I don't think they really thought about what the cap would do to the city of Gary, which had to make up for the uncollected taxes resulting from the cap.
And what has the Legislature done about the inequitable Hospital Care for the Indigent payments that "steal" more than $22 million from Lake County taxpayers each year?
Lake County ain't Indy.
And what has the Legislature done about the unfairness to Lake County property tax payers who are hit for more than $100 million a year for welfare -- a state program that ought to be funded by the state?
You know, this ain't Indy.
When it became clear a few weeks ago that Indy property taxes were going to soar, Mayor Bart Peterson called for the governor to call a special session of the Legislature.
Gov. Mitch Daniels went one better and ordered a reassessment of all property in Marion County.
After all, it's for Indy.
I lived in The Region for eight years, and there really is a strong feeling there that it is the forgotten corner of Indiana. On the other hand, people there seldom think of Indianapolis, either, except when they're in this whining mode. Chicago is such a strong pull that a visitor from another country might get the impression that the Windy City is really Indiana's capital.
It's natural that the rest of us resent the extra attention and, often, money that Indianapolis gets from the state. But it's also natural that the state capital get extra attention and money. If it does poorly, there can be a ripple effect that snares the rest of us.