[r90] Murphy Applauds Governor on Order to Freeze Property Tax Bills (7/18/2007)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Start Date: 7/18/2007 All Day
End Date: 7/18/2007

(INDIANAPOLIS)  July 18, 2007 - State Representative Michael Murphy (R-Indianapolis) is pleased with Governor Daniels' plan to confront the property tax problems facing Marion County and many other areas throughout the state.  The Governor announced the details of his plan this morning, ordering a total reassessment of all property in Marion County.

"I am very glad to see the Governor is offering this kind of leadership," said Rep. Murphy. "Reassessment is a huge move, but it is precisely what Marion County needs due to the gross failure of the County Assessor."

When the bills arrived in the mail boxes of Marion County taxpayers, outrage soon followed due to the average 35 percent increase.  Many property owners saw much higher increases. Too many residents saw increases of 200, 300, even 600 percent. As a result, the Department of Local Government Finance (DLGF) took a closer look at what was really happening. Their findings report that "the assessment-to-sales ratio submitted by the Marion County Assessor indicated that assessments on certain classes of property in certain townships were inaccurate or inequitable." The DLGF went on to recommend the immediate reassessment of real property in the county.

The governor indicated that he plans to freeze tax bills for Marion County at the 2006 amounts, and new bills will be sent when the reassessment is complete. The Governor also said it is likely that reassessments in other counties will follow after the DLGF is able to investigate each county.

For long-term property tax reform, Governor Daniels has appointed State Supreme Court Justice Randall Shepherd and former Governor Joe Kernan to head a commission to develop ideas for lasting property tax reform. The commission will consider the possibility of eliminating the township-county assessors, among other things.

Rep. Murphy asked the governor to consider these actions, but would like to see even more done to reform the taxing structure.

"I am still hoping the governor will not hesitate to call a Special Session if it is truly needed," said Rep. Murphy. "We need to enact permanent reform by eliminating property taxes and placing stricter limits on government spending at all levels."

Rep. Murphy encourages local constituents to contact him with questions or concerns through e-mail at h90@in.gov, or by calling the Statehouse toll-free at 1-800-382-9841. It is also possible to write him at 200 W. Washington St, Indianapolis, IN 46204.