Since I first was elected state representative from District 45, I have pledged myself to vote against all tax increases in order to protect my constituents. In my years of service to our community, I have never failed to protect Hoosier taxpayers from tax increases.
I write to you in response to a recent letter to the editor printed in many area newspapers. In this letter, Joe Hamilton of Sullivan County points to my vote against an amendment to House Bill 1001 that would increase assessments on strip-mined properties by a factor of one-quarter of 1 percent. Mr. Hamilton claims that by voting against this amendment, I vote for higher property taxes for homeowners.
This is absolutely false. Mr. Hamilton makes wild accusations and uses faulty logic.
The amendment in question did not specify the types of mining land that would be affected by the increase. Anyone who knows anything about the history of our area knows that many of our homes reside on mining land. In fact, the odds are good your property is mining land. To check, go to http://22.214.171.124/arcims/cmis/viewer.htm.
I don't know about you, but I don't want to see your or my property taxes increase because we live on land that has been mined.
Mr. Hamilton makes the assumption that because property taxes increases for one group, they decrease for another. In fact, if I had voted for this amendment to HB 1001, I would have opened the door for tax increases for businesses and homeowners.
The idea of an amendment with the sole purpose of raising property taxes making its way into HB 1001, a bill designed to decrease property taxes, is strange logic, indeed.
To suggest that my vote against a tax increase is a vote that attacks the financial stability of you and your family is unwarranted, illogical and just plain false.
I refuse to vote for any bill or amendment that takes more money out of your pocket!
My voting record proves my commitment to economic conservatism and to protecting the shelter and financial security you have worked so hard to achieve. I was the only state representative from a coal-mining county to vote for a voter referendum on certain school building projects and to vote for state spending caps.
Therefore, I'm batting three out of three for the property owner:
- Don't raise taxes on formerly coal-mined land.
- Allow the voters to either approve or disapprove school building projects that will most certainly raise their property taxes.
- Make the state live within its means just like you and I have to!
I realize that now that I'm up for re-election, my fiscally and morally conservative voting record will most certainly continue to be attacked by those who want bigger and bigger government at taxpayer expense. I wouldn't even be surprised if next they accuse me of throwing sore-butted duckies into saltwater ponds!
Should you ever question my vote on any issue, I invite you to contact me in Jasonville or at the Statehouse. I assure you I am working to represent your interests, to protect your basic rights and freedoms, to keep government out of your life as much as possible - especially out of your pocket.