The lead sentence or paragraph of a newspaper story tells you -- or should -- what the writer and editors think is the single most important point of the article. Here's The Associated Press on the anaylsis showing that property tax caps in Indiana are going to have a greater impact than expected:
INDIANAPOLIS — Property owners in Indiana are expected to save more than $70 million more on their tax bills in the next two years than originally predicted because of caps on property taxes, according to a new analysis released Monday.
Here's the Louisville Courier-Journal, same information, different emphasis:
INDIANAPOLIS — New limits on property tax bills will cost cities, counties and schools millions more dollars than expected in 2010 and 2011, increasing the pressure on some already-cash-strapped local budgets, according to legislative data released Monday.
I confess to liking the AP's version better, since I'm a property tax payer, and it's partly my money they're talking about. Here's the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, playing it right down the middle, in the story's second sentence:
Although the news is bad for governments around the state that will receive less property tax revenue than originally estimated, it also means property taxpayers will save money.
I might have turned that sentence around -- "Property owners will save money, and governments around the state . . ." -- but I like that approach best of all, because it sets up a balanced discussion that the story mostly delivers.