Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A suggestion worth merit.

Originally viewed in the Indianapolis Star


Below is one of the few comments that really had merit. It would need some tweaking, but we still retain local control, but there are fewer taxing authorities rather than multiple taxing authorities. Biggest difference for us would be fighting for budget dollars and one entity fighting and plotting against another entity for those tax dollars

Comment # 84 wrote (http://www.topix.net/forum/source/indianapolis-star/TAP10LBS7DJ48A8PH/p5) : I've posted about this here before. I grew up in Virginia, where the local government system is similar to what is proposed here. Everything below state government is either the county or an incorporated city. Urban counties have an elected county supervisor with an elected board of commissioners. Other counties have a board of supervisors that serve both legislative and executive functions. But all schools, library, parks, transportation, assessment, and other functions come under the ultimate budgetary and TAXING authority of the county-level goverment. It makes it much easier to participate in your local government, because you hold those few county supervisors responsible for all of it.(There are also elected school boards, but they are responsible for planning, curriculum, etc., only - their budgets and any necessary tax increases are subject to the approval of the county supervisors). Cities work basically the same way, but they are considered separate entities from the counties. There are also towns, but their budgets and taxing authority lie with the county.

So there are very few taxing authorities in Virginia. That's what Indiana needs - consolidation of taxing authorities. You can go ahead and elect whomever you want - school boards, assessors, clerks, library boards, etc.- but consolidate the taxing at one level in each city or county. Then we know exactly who to praise or blame for the level of taxes we pay to the county. And when one person or council is responsible, they'll make darn sure your taxes don't go up too much, whether it's for schools, libraries, roundabouts, whatever.

Long story short, Virginia has been consistently named one of the best state economies and has one of the lowest overall tax burdens in the nation. Indiana has not been. We need to LOOK AROUND at Virginia and other state examples of how to run a lean, efficient system of state and local government.

No comments: