Marion County property tax bills expected to increase
If you live in Marion County - brace yourself. Tax bills go out Monday and according to the treasurer's office, 70 percent of homeowners will pay more than in property taxes than they did last year.
Ora Triplet, who's lived in her north side home for 38 years, doesn't like hearing that.
"It's hard for those of us on fixed incomes, because you only get one check a month and with all the bills, it's hard, especially if you're by yourself," she said.
Deputy treasurer Cindy Lamb said the higher tax bills are basically the result of three things: the countywide reassessment, higher tax rates and school referendums in six of the county's 11 school districts. Lamb said the average increase amounts to $137.50.
Triplet said that may not sound like a lot, but for her, every penny counts.
"It's all going up. Groceries are going up, the light bill, the gas bill. What can you do?" she said.
Chris Freeze said he's "not thrilled" either.
Like many others in the historic neighborhood where he lives, he's put a lot of time and money into restoring his nearly 100-year-old home.
"No one likes paying taxes, but I think the question of what you get in return is legitimate," and he's not sure of the answer.
Like other older neighborhoods, he said there are infrastructure issues. And keeping his old home up "is an ongoing project...and there have not been any tax breaks, except for an energy tax (credit) which covered some materials and no labor, but there was nothing to do with investing in inner city or older neighborhoods."
He said that can be disincentive to getting younger, professional couples to invest in historic areas, so it's hard, he noted, when taxes keep going up.
"At one point I think 45 percent of the mortgage payment was in taxes which seemed excessive so I was glad when property tax caps came in," he said.
While a taxpayer revolt led to tax caps a few years back, Land said just 17% of homeowners have hit those caps because of a number of deductions. That means 83% of homeowners can still see their taxes rise.
Triplet meantime said she's tired of fretting over taxes and other costs of home ownership.
"If the good Lord spares me, I'm going to get rid of it, sell my house and get out of here," she said, but not before her tax bill arrives next week.
The first installment of those bills is due May 10th.