Saturday, May 14, 2005

Another Deception?

More confusion, or is it deception, from the Indiana state house?

Quoted in the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette:

The state also is freezing property tax relief payments at current levels, which could save the state about $215 million over two years but shift the tab to property taxpayers.

Daniels said local taxes were directly related to local spending, and schools and local governments could avoid property tax increases by “being as careful about their spending as the legislature is about its.”


Read those two paragraphs again. They contradict one another. Paraphrased another way...The state is forcing local property tax rates to rise, but it is the local school board or local government's fault they are rising. Huh????

There are only two explanations. Either the governor and his staffers are still uninformed on how school funding works, or they are intentionally deceitful. I remain hopeful that the governor and his staffers are still on a learning curve. But I wonder....

5 Comments:

At Saturday, May 14, 2005, Blogger EdWonk said...

I continue to be amazed that as a culture we continue to attempt to educate Our Future Generations On The Cheap.

But then again, history teaches us that its always been that way.

Which is no reason not to try to change it.

As a people, we can no longer afford to underfund education.

 
At Sunday, May 15, 2005, Blogger Dogwood said...

Actually, these paragraphs don't contradict each other. Under the Property Tax Replacement Credit system, any increase in local government spending has been partially subsidized by the state.

By ending the practice of subsidizing local units of government, the state is simply saying that if local units of government choose to increase their future spending, then the burden of that spending will fall on local taxpayers. If local spending does not increase, then local taxes will not increase. The choice is at the local level.

Why did the state implement this option? Because PTRC was growing at 20 percent per year, which clearly was not sustainable. In 2002 when the General Assembly increased the sales tax by one cent, it generated $800 million for property tax relief. Since then, state spending on property tax relief has grown by $1.2 billion, far outstripping the revenue generated from the sales tax hike.

 
At Sunday, May 15, 2005, Blogger Indiana Public School Superintendent said...

dogwood:
You said:
By ending the practice of subsidizing local units of government, the state is simply saying that if local units of government choose to increase their future spending, then the burden of that spending will fall on local taxpayers. If local spending does not increase, then local taxes will not increase. The choice is at the local level.

The huge misconception here dogwood, is that the local unit of government has much control over most choices. Local school boards have almost no control over curriculum, testing, length of calendar, collective bargaining rules and on and on. You see, if local governments controlled the educational agenda, maybe we could control spending.

Unfunded mandate after mandate eats it up. Then the state, which has taken respnsibility for education, wants to control the entire agenda and then make local taxpayers fit the bill.

It seems disingenuous to me.

In addition you emphasize the word "future spending" and imply that costs for existing services and products will not rise. Simply not true. Rising utility costs, insurance costs and other business costs means that the price for current services just keeps going up. This doesn't include the continual list of new mandates that comes along.

It's a perfect world for the legislatures. They can force the educational agenda with complex rules and laws governing education and its funding, then force the locals to assume a larger and larger portion of funding it, then blame them for rising property rates.

You have to admire it really.

 
At Sunday, May 15, 2005, Anonymous Nick Nac said...

The Governor's "honestly balanced budget" owes schools and higher education 700 million dollars.

I guess it all depends on your definition of "honest."

 
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