Explaining the Indiana political machine at a local level

Disclaimer: I wrote this in 2012!

Note, the filing deadline has passed to file for this position as a Republican in 2016.

 

Given the anger that a lot of voters have with what’s going on in our political world, I decided to write this to help, Hoosiers in particular, figure out where to start.

The smallest local office for which one can run is called a precinct committeeman/woman. The physical location of where you go to vote is your precinct (aka polling location). Each precinct has a set …

Read More »

Thank you Sellersburg District 1!

Today at noon was the deadline for the opposing party to caucus a candidate to run against me this November. The deadline came and went with no one filing. So, effective January 2016, I will be the town council representative for Sellersburg District 1! Thank you!

Read More »

Regional Cities Initiative – Regional Development Authority

Regional Cities Initiative – Regional Development Authority

Let’s discuss the new thing that came down from the state this legislative session.

Let me start by giving the legislature (especially the House) some credit. They did not want to fund this thing, but it was one of the governor’s pet projects that he wanted to get through. First, they revised the RDA statute to make it more municipal friendly. Second, they did not want to fund it, but agreed with a compromise with the governor on using tax amnesty funds. …

Read More »

Real Estate Taxes by State

Real Estate Taxes by State

When comparing residential tax bills across states it is important to consider government finances. Property taxes may represent 40.3% of state and local tax receipts but some states rely less heavily on property taxes as a source of revenue than others.
http://eyeonhousing.org/2014/10/real-estate-taxes-by-state-2013/

Indiana ranks all the way down in place #42 out of 50 states for our real estate tax burden.

But when you include income taxes, Indiana jumps to #28.

Why is this important? Because as I discussed in a previous post, What Difference Does it …

Read More »

Certified to help you!

Certified to help you!

You should have gotten your Form 11’s from the assessor’s office last month. The deadline to file an appeal on your assessment for next years taxes is MONDAY AUGUST 4th, 2014.

Contact me if you’d like help on your appeal.

Read More »

Income taxes versus property taxes

Income taxes versus property taxes

As promised in a previous post, “Taxes, taxes, taxes”, I mentioned doing some math on income taxes versus property taxes. Here is that follow-up!

TIFs work similar to abatements in that they pull property taxes from the general essential services funds. One difference is the time frame: TIFs=20-30 years, abatements are usually for 10. Abatements are typically partial and not a full forgiveness of the tax burden. The main difference between the two though is that in a TIF property taxes are …

Read More »

Press Release

Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Realtor Named GOP Candidate for Clark Co. Assessor

June 27, 2014 – Clark County- Martina Webster, Sellersburg, filed paperwork Thursday officially entering her in the race for Clark County Assessor. The Clark County Republican Party appointed Webster after she completed the requirements to be a level 3 certified assessor, as required for the position by state law.

Webster, who has been a local Realtor for 15 years, says she approaches her intended position with the mind of a Realtor but the conscience of a taxpayer. …

Read More »

Form-11: Notice of Assessment

Form-11: Notice of Assessment

Everyone in Clark County should have gotten a Form-11: Notice of Assessment this week. I’ve been getting calls and emails from people asking what they should do. I figure now is a good time to explain a few things.

First, if your assessment is within a range of where you would list your house for sale if you were to put it on the market, then it is probably a fair assessment. I know no one likes to pay higher taxes, but our system in Indiana …

Read More »

Taxes, taxes, taxes – what difference does it make?

Taxes, taxes, taxes – what difference does it make?

There are various forms of taxing the public but the three most common are property taxes, income taxes, and user fees/taxes.

What makes them different and why should we care?

Property taxes are designed to fund local government. The idea behind them is that those who live in the area use the essential services those property taxes fund. For example if your property is in West Clark School District, a portion of your property taxes will go to support that school district. Property taxes …

Read More »

Does Clark County have a revenue problem or a spending problem?

Does Clark County have a revenue problem or a spending problem?

From the News & Tribune:

If Rodden wins in mediation against the county, the mandated tax rate to pay for the judgment bonds the county would have to issue would likely be the largest in county history.

In 2011, tax rates outside of the county’s budget levy were imposed to collect $2 million for the courts and $1.2 million for the sheriff’s department to cover budget shortfalls. Another tax rate to collect $2.855 million for the sheriff’s office was mandated in 2013.

A property tax rate of …

Read More »

Property tax distribution comparison

Property tax distribution comparison

I did some research on how Clark County compares to other counties in Indiana with a similar number of parcels. First thing I noticed is that our assessor’s office budget is already running very lean. Out of the 7 counties I compared, Clark’s assessment budget is in the bottom half.

How does Clark compare with the distributions of property tax dollars? Instead of the county essential services getting a higher portion – our municipalities get triple plus they get their TIF …

Read More »

How is the value of my property determined?

How is the value of my property determined?

From the DLGF (Department of Local Government Finance):

Thankfully in Indiana assessment of property isn’t as confusing as it once was. Now, the amount of value that determines your property tax bill, also known as the assessment, should reflect the market value of your property. This market value is based on your current use, not on highest or best use.

Just like other states, in Indiana properties are valued using mass appraisal techniques. With mass appraisal, your property is looked at in conjunction with other properties in …

Read More »