WILLIAM J. HOWARTH: Tax increases spur long list of questions
As a casual observer of the political scene and the taxation of the general tax-paying populace, a few reports have me asking questions and to some degree have my head spinning.
In the May 12 paper concerning the state budget, the general tax collection in 2000 was $20 billion. The present proposed budget is $29 billion. This is approximately a 31 percent increase over 13 years. This was at the same time that inflation has been basically held in check.
I doubt seriously if the average working person has received that sort of increase.
Now, it seems that all factions of government — transportation, social services, educational, etc. — are complaining about cuts to their budgets! Are they saying that a proposed 10 percent increase to their budget is now only going to be 7 percent and that represents a 3 percent cut? Is this a game of semantics?
The question is: Where has the money gone or is it going? And the answer is … ?
Now, on the ever-increasing yearly taxation provided by the Indiana Area School District, the following is also a puzzle to me:
Over the last five to 10 years, I have observed what used to be meadows and woodlands, which were taxed at minimal amounts, now turned into locations for large individual housing developments, condominiums, apartments and businesses, which I’m sure are paying top tax rates that are far in excess of the previous meadows and woodlands. All this happened with a static or declining student population. Questions, questions, questions looking for answers.
One other question is to state Rep. Sam Smith: How is the reduction in the Legislature proposal going? Are you planning to run on this subject again to retain your seat? Is it possible I might see this reduction in my lifetime? I am 76.
Thanking everyone in advance for your answers, comments and condemnations.
William J. Howarth