March 20, 2009
Patrick Bauer versus the People.
By Jim Arnold
The 2008 property tax fiasco surged through Indiana like a tsunami. The cry from taxpayers was fierce, and a bi-partisan majority in both houses signed HB1001into law promising property tax relief. HB1001 raised sales taxes by nearly 17% to pay for property tax relief scheduled to be phased in over three years
With near perfect timing the Kernan Shepard report offered several recommendations for cutting costs at the state and local level, to accommodate the reduced revenue driven by property tax reform.
Senate Joint Resolution 1 was passed by the Senate this year to provide the second reading of HB1001 which would allow the public to vote in a 2010 referendum to write the property tax caps into the Indiana constitution.
In a pitiful case of parliamentary procedure best labeled Patrick Bauer versus the people, house majority leader Patrick Bauer is refusing to allow SJR1 to come to the floor for a vote. Bauer and other wait and see advocates claim that the vote can happen either this year or next and that we need to see the effects of the property tax caps before making them permanent.
Ironically, the house Government and Regulatory Reform committee wasted no time in trampling many of the Kernan Shepard recommendations, effectively preventing the budget reductions needed to offset revenue reductions stemming from property tax reform.
Taxpayers struggling under the yoke of excessive property taxes need to see to it that Mr. Bauer and other lackluster and lackadaisical legislators are beating a path out of Indianapolis after the 2010 Elections