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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Strike two

When Gov. Daniels announced his proposal to cap residential property taxes, he also talked a lot about restraining local spending. The idea was that, to start getting a handle on taxes, communities would get less money and learn to do with less. But Mayor Henry has a different idea:

The new administration will ask City Council on Tuesday to consider raising the 2008 tax levy - the amount of tax government collects - but one councilman said the city is trying to “take a second bite of the apple.”

[. . .]

Because of HB1001, the city's tax levy is estimated to be reduced by $9.7 million in 2009 and $10 million in 2010, causing the city to make some hard decisions about how to overcome the shortfall.

City Council passed the 2008 budget in September and froze the 2008 levy at the 2007 level of $99 million, slicing it by about $3.6 million. At the time, Roller attempted to talk council out of freezing the levy, but council wasn't persuaded and instead chose to reduce the levy, reducing taxes for residents. If the levy was increased it would mean an estimated additional $10.36 on a $100,000 home.

The mayor's first major announcement was that he wanted the city to jump into gambling head first. Now he wants to increase the tax levy. Going to be a loooong four years, isn't it?


Bob G.
Mon, 01/14/2008 - 10:09am

NO matter HOW MANY bites the city takes from the apple, they ALWAYS forget that the apple came from OUR (the taxpayers') tree...something to think about.
Maybe the city should try growing their OWN apple tree?
...a VERY long 4 years...indeed.


Kevin Knuth
Mon, 01/14/2008 - 10:58am


Assume we DO NOT increase the tax levy.

What services should we cut?

Mon, 01/14/2008 - 11:44am

Public employee pensions.

Z Man
Mon, 01/14/2008 - 10:21pm

KK - The budget was not cut for 2008, the levy was kept at the same level as 2007 (no increase). So no services would have to be cut, the City is only being asked to live within a budget like businesses and citizens. By the by, the total budget will go up anyway for 2008 as LOIT will probably increase. Smell the air around you, we are heading into a recession and taxes should be cut or kept level, not increased. The mayor may think he has a mandate to raise taxes, but he should remember he defeated a wounded and bleeding opponent in November. This is not getting him off to a great start.

Kevin Knuth
Tue, 01/15/2008 - 9:45am

Z Man-

the levy was kept at the same level- however, costs will continue to rise (things like cost of living raises for employees).

Tracy Warner summed it up well in his column today:


Z Man
Tue, 01/15/2008 - 11:16pm

KK -- We probably would both agree that the system of generating maximum levies allowed by the state discourages belt-tightening in a particular year. However, as admitted by Controller Roller in tonights CC meeting, there were no "cuts" made to the 2008 budget -- the frozen levy only reduced the "reserve" the City had planned to build up. I am no flunky for the Gov, but it appears to me that the caps were purposely put in his bill to force local governments to adopt the new LOIT. This would raise $20 million for the city, more than enough to offset any "cuts" in 2008.