Carol Bouslog’s Speech at HPTRA Kick-Off Muncie, Indiana

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HOOSIER PROPERTY TAX REFORM ALLIANCE (HPTRA)
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
10:30 a.m.; Hiatt Printing Building, 1716 North Wheeling Avenue, Muncie, Indiana

Good morning…
My name is Carol Bouslog. As a resident, former Delaware County property owner, and a volunteer, former Board member, and now member of CDCPTR (Citizens of Delaware County for Property Tax Repeal), I ask you to vote YES on Question 1 when you go to the polls in November.

“The power to tax involves the power to destroy,” so stated Supreme Court Justice John Marshall in an opinion he wrote in 1819. This power to destroy has been strongly proven in Delaware County to many individuals, particularly since the 2006-pay-2007 property tax year. The destruction has taken the form of foreclosures and tax sales and industry and taxpayer flight. Why just last week, our local newspaper listed nearly 3000 properties that are up for sale in October—the result of unpaid property taxes.

That year—2007– the property taxes on my modest home on the south side of Muncie rose 75%–adding up to an increase of around 600% over an 11-year period. Prior to that time as a retired 65-year-old part-time worker (after some 50 years of full-time employment), I was struggling. However, after that 2006-pay-2007 property tax increase, my mortgage payment was far too great for me to manage (it rose from $470 to nearly $600 per month). Compounding that difficulty was a diagnosis of cancer, an eventual loss of my part-time job, and becoming a full-time caregiver to a terminally ill parent. I couldn’t keep up, and my home went into foreclosure. For me, it was the increase in property taxes that tipped the scale.

I am now 9 months cancer-free, and thanks to the wonderful kindness of others I’m beginning to get back on my feet. Others, I fear, may not have been as fortunate.

Many others in the future may also be at risk. After all, there was an attempted “fix” of property taxes in 1933, then again in 1963, and once more in 1973. In the ensuing 25 years, property taxes increased 450%. Then in 2008 we had another fix.

If we do not lock in the tax caps, it is my fear that greater numbers of individuals will suffer the loss of their homes as a result of out-of-control tax increases.

Property tax caps offer homeowners certainty and stability; again, please vote YES on Question 1.
Thank you.

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