Residents brace themselves for more taxes - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Residents brace themselves for more taxes

The mayor says an additional $90 million is needed for the war on crime. The mayor says an additional $90 million is needed for the war on crime.
The mayor's proposal comes the same week property taxes with major increases are being mailed. The mayor's proposal comes the same week property taxes with major increases are being mailed.
Julie Payne's household has one income and three kids. She says "We are not going to make ends meet." Julie Payne's household has one income and three kids. She says "We are not going to make ends meet."

Rich Van Wyk/Eyewitness News

Indianapolis - Homeowners already facing a huge increase in their property taxes are facing another blow to the wallet. Mayor Bart Peterson says he needs new tax money to pay for the city's war on crime.

On a day that saw another homicide in the city, and someone try to kill a police officer, Peterson vowed to take back the streets. He's proposing an increase in Marion County's income tax to pay for it.

"We've declared war on crime, we need more money to fight it," the mayor said.

A 65% increase in county income tax would bring in $90 million more a year, money that would hire more police and prosecutors as well as pay for salary increases and pensions. Peterson admits the increase comes at a bad time for homeowners who, in his words, are "bracing for extraordinary property tax increases."

The higher income tax amounts to another $325 a year for some earning $50,000. Homeowners are fearing property tax increases amounting to hundreds of dollars a month when bills begin arriving Saturday.

In Pike Township, home owner Kevin Hampton said, "I don't mind paying taxes when I have to but this is going on and on and on and on."

Hampton's neighbors have similar concerns. Julie Payne's household has three children and one income.

"We are not going to make ends meet," Payne explained. "Something will give. I don't know what that will be."

Another neighbor, William Powell, already has two jobs and dreads his tax bill.

"When it comes, I cry," Powell said. "Now I'm going to do some real crying."

Ending the business inventory tax, and property reassessment are among the culprits behind the increase. However, in addition to those reasons, taxes are going up because the government entities responsible for taxes are raising taxes.

In Pike Township, school taxes are up six percent, and Indianapolis Public Schools have raised taxes 21%. Meanwhile, taxes for Indianapolis city services climbed nine percent, while county welfare taxes sky rocketed 75%.

The property tax bills for Marion County go in the mail Friday. The mayor's proposed income tax increase will go before the City-County Council for consideration. If it is approved, the law states that all county property taxes, with the exception of schools, are frozen for two years.

Residents who can't wait for the bad news and want to know their property tax increase before their bill arrives can call the treasurer's office at 327.4444, or contact their township assessor.

The treasurer's office has eight people to answer the phones, but roughly 400,000 tax bills going out, so callers should expect to wait.  The treasurer's office is open from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Friday.

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