Chris Hiatt

Property Tax Appeal Help Day~A Great Turnout!

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On June 19, 2010, CDCPTR  with support of local businesses and real estate companies, sponsored the first Property Tax Appeal Help Day. Although I don’t have the full numbers of how many people came seeking help, the last count was over 125 property owners.  300 total packets of information were distributed.

Each person was greeted with a smile and handed a packet of information with step by step instructions on how to file and what to do after it has been submitted. From that point citizens were given comparable property information and then directed to a volunteer trained in assessment appeals. Delaware County Assessor, James Carmichael, spent his Saturday  answering questions and assisting the public.

Matthew, a bright civic-minded student from Ball State University was busy helping with the influx of concerned property owners. Matthew is a keeper and one to watch. Others donated their Saturday morning, I can’t remember all their names.

Although, child care was not provided, a couple of us soon found ourselves being entertained by a beautiful little girl. She started out quiet and ended up singing and playing games, while her father worked on a myriad of complicated property issues inside.

Someone generously donated the food served. Mrs. Alexander took charge of the kitchen. Grilling up some of the best sausage sandwiches for the volunteers, and burgers for anyone which had a hankering to eat.

Jim Arnold, a prolific writer of letters in the local newspaper, seemed to be quite an attraction. Several people asked about him and wanted to meet the dude.

Although, it is still too early to determine if any person won their appeal, at least two people found their property tax caps were wrong and received instructions on how to get a refund.

It was a wonderful opportunity to give back to the community and meet so many fine people. Almost everyone had a story to tell. We hope this will be an annual event and we learned quite a bit which will help the process run even smoother next year.

A very big thank you to the citizens and property owners for helping to make this a success. Good luck on your appeals.


Nobody is Listening!

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We asked for serious cuts to the 2008 Budgets in the Fall of 2007 in preparation for the inevitable…..nobody was listening.

We proposed voluntary consolidations in October 2007…..nobody was listening.

We pointed to the multiple TIF Districts, with bulging excessive balances and debt that could be retired saving millions and even abolished returning more millions to the various contributing taxing districts…..and nobody was listening.

We started exposing the illegal Common Construction Wage practices in Delaware County that have been costing the County and Cities millions….and nobody is listening.

We Petitioned for Modernization/Consolidation in January/February 2008…..and some reluctantly listened while trying to figure out how to render the effort worthless.

We predicted a revenue shortfall of nearly $3 million dollars for 2009 and $4.5 million for 2010 as far back as early last summer…nobody was listening.

We again proposed wide sweeping budget and department cuts to the 2009 Budgets in the Fall of 2008….nobody was listening.

We worked up a comprehensive plan to to cut $3 million from the 2009 Budget….nobody was listening.

We held forums, informational meetings, published newsletters, worked the polls and even tried to point the voters in the right direction….but again, nobody was listening.

We’ve even gone so far as to voluntarily assume some of the very basic governmental responsibilities to demontrate it doesn’t take a rocket scientist or multi-million dollar budgets to perform the most basic and important services…..but apparently nobody is listening!

Hmmmmm….reminds me of the old adages….”you can lead a horse to water…..” or “you reap what you sow”……very, very unfortunate that we have public leadership so bent on sustaining the status quo that they would place the future of our Communities at risk and “lead” us to the poison well of economic collapse.

Chris Hiatt