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

A tax is a tax is a tax

Noblesville tries to ram through a tax by calling it a "trash fee," but outrage from taxpayers might hold if off at least for a while:

The fee would add $3.82 to wastewater bills beginning this November and about $7.60 in 2010. That would raise about $750,000-$800,000 in 2009 and about double in 2010, said Clerk-Treasurer Janet Jaros.

City officials touted the fee as a way to make up for the estimated $1.27 million in property tax revenue the city stands to lose in 2010, the first full year state property tax reform takes effect.

This isn't a true user's fee, like a gas tax or the cost of a bus ride, in which the people who get the most out of something pay more for it. Everybody uses the trash-collection service just like they all get police and fire service, so peeling it off and charging separately for it is just a clever way of making people pay twice for the same thing. Mayor Paul Helmke got away with that one, and it amounted to a huge de facto tax increase, although I seem to remember that he balked at calling it that.

One of the commenters really nails this one: "The concept of the property tax reduction was to lower property tax. The concept of each local government is to raise other taxes so in effect you will wind up paying more than the reduction in property tax. "


Bob G.
Mon, 09/22/2008 - 8:51am

Nice to see a LOT more people "like us" starting to question the status quo, and not letting governments run slipshod over us in the process, isn't it?

Mon, 09/22/2008 - 9:27am

We want stuff like fire protection, police protection, waste disposal, adequate drainage, flood control, courts that enforce contracts and prosecute crimes, good streets and bridges, traffic control, etc., etc. We'd just rather not pay for it.

Bob G.
Mon, 09/22/2008 - 12:42pm

I really don't mind paying for it....provisionally-speaking.
By that, I mean that I fully EXPECT that every dollar going into ANY governmental coffer is used in the BEST INTEREST of me, as well as the rest of the populace.
I also EXPECT to never see anyone "robbing Peter to pay Paul" in the process.
In other words, don't tell me one thing, then do another in a vain attempt to assuage my trepidations when it comes to MY MONEY (and yours).
As an example, I'd much rather see my neighborhood being regrentrified (along with others), than have Renaissance Pointe go up...it would be a much better utilization of EVERY taxpayers' money.
But that's only ONE example (of way too many).

tim zank
Mon, 09/22/2008 - 5:49pm

I would submit, like BG, most of us don't mind paying and that's painfully obvious by just looking at the size of our government isn't it??????

We just don't like getting hosed, repeatedly.