The Muncie 2011 Mayoral election has come and gone. Many people have expressed concern about the direction our city may take in the next four years. The British government, in 1939, produced a series of posters designed to motivate the people and alleviate feelings of anxiety.
Muncie citizens, take heart. Your property taxes will not be raised to meet any shortfall like the 11% increase we saw in 2006. With property tax caps firmly placed in the Indiana constitution your homestead will not rise above 1% of assessed evaluation – with a maximum of 3% on other properties. This is a bit of insurance for property owners.
Included in the HB1478 signed in 2007 is the ability to tax the working residents a certain percentage. This is known as Local Option Income Tax (LOIT). This tax if imposed, will encompass all of Delaware County. It was first introduced in 2009, by Muncie Council President Alison Quirk, which won another four-year term. The outcry was simply the Muncie Common Council had not considered any other options before introducing LOIT at the highest rate available. Adding to it, among other reasons, unemployment and foreclosures were at a record high.
I believe it is obscene to tax an economically down people because government couldn’t control their spending, and made no attempt to do so. We may want to keep an eye on this one should it be brought back up.
One other area which isn’t far from our minds, is the concern the city may be spent into debt. If you have been following the county, you will understand the county had a decent financial cushion going into 2009. At the end of that year, the county was struggling to find $10.5 million dollars.
It only took 12 months to go into debt.
The ramifications have yet to be fully realized. Just a little pin prick with the county building closed one day per week. For those needing to use the county building services, it probably affects them more. The human factor saw 25 people laid-off.
The city on the other hand, will feel more than a pin prick if we go from black to red in a matter of months. Some things take longer before the pain is realized. Like the two-year audit of the Community Development Office. Often we find the sins of the past rears its ugly head years after the actual event took place.
With a voter turnout of 29% our fate for the next four years has been decided.
It’s time-consuming, sometimes frustrating to follow local government. Fortunately for me, I have a wealth of information available in the form of video, documentation, resources and people. Living in the city you almost always have to do double duty…city and county both.
Kudos to those which keep a diligent eye on the National level. That must be very intense.
I followed the McShurley administration closely, and I hope you all gleaned a bit of information and insight into our local government scene. God willing and the creek don’t rise, I hope to continue in this same vein. That being said, here is a short list of things to expect in 2012.
- Coming up in 2012 are two projects which have already been earmarked. I will go into more detail as the year-end gets closer.
- Department head appointments. How departments are run and their effectiveness depends on the ability and experience of those appointed to the positions.
- We still have close to six weeks before the new administration begins, Muncie expects to have a $3 million dollar balance (approximately) to carry into 2012.
- SAFER grant ends.
- Decrease in EDIT funds from the State of Indiana.
- Opening of Mock Fire Station.