Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Letters

December 13, 2013

Dec. 13, 2013: Letters to the editor

Strapped local gov’t? Try setting priorities

Did you hear them, the howls of pain from local officials on announcement that the Pence administration would phase out their golden goose, the business personal property tax? The governor thinks it will level the playing field, attract investment, create jobs.

Please know the anguish is genuine. The amount of revenue to be lost — about $1 billion a year statewide — cannot be finessed. County and city officeholders may have to set priorities; they may have to decide what local government should and should not be doing and then explain it to a constituency.

If you assume your councilman is doing that already, you might double-check. In my county, public officials have reduced responsibility to a scheme: 1) a budget crisis is spotted on the horizon; 2) the political and fiscal costs are carefully tallied; 3) everybody sits tight until the only option left is to raise taxes.

Legislators, alas, are in on it. Even the Republicans operate on a “revenue neutral” basis, meaning government must be compensated for any lost revenue. Before the governor could make his announcement, Sen. Brandt Hershman, R-Buck Creek, the chairman of the Senate Tax and Fiscal Policy Committee, was warning that “absent finding a replacement revenue source that mitigates the impact [of cutting the business personal property tax], we have to be cautious.”

Instead of guarding his revenue stream, Mr. Hershman might be introducing “core functions” legislation. Such proposals are being considered in several states as a way to organize the discussion around the question of “what, exactly, is the job of local government?”

Oregon state Rep. Kim Thatcher began a campaign to identify core functions with nothing more than loose bipartisan agreement that government “can’t and shouldn’t do everything.”

“Our system of budgeting wasn’t working,” she told the American Legislative Exchange Council. “Instead of agencies pestering lawmakers for more and more money, we first needed to establish what the core functions of government were and then decide how to divvy up the available funds.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Letters
  • LETTERS: State water supply an economic issue State water supply an economic issueIt takes a lot of water to build and grow things, and in Indiana, that’s what we do. It’s why the Indiana Chamber of Commerce Foundation commissioned a new study on water resources (www.indianachamber.com/water). W

    August 14, 2014

  • LETTERS: 'Fundamental' facts on zoning approval 'Fundamental' facts on zoning approval As a member of the 2012 Tipton County Plan Commission and Tipton County Board of Commissioners, I was involved in the commitments associated with the Functional Devices re-zone from Commercial to Light Industria

    August 11, 2014

  • LETTERS: Where decisions are made willy-nilly Where decisions are made ‘willy-nilly’ Citizens of Tipton County should have the reasonable assurance that local laws and ordinances put in place to protect them will not be randomly abandoned. Instead, some find themselves begging the leadership

    August 10, 2014

  • LETTERS: Double standards in Tipton County Double standards in Tipton CountyI attended the Tipton County Plan Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals public hearings regarding industrial development adjacent to the Prairie Acres residential subdivision. Numerous citizens made presentations of

    August 7, 2014

  • LETTERS: Assistance wait lists bedevil employed Assistance wait lists bedevil employedI would like to bring attention to the issues of single-income families. I am about to lose my baby sitter. I was given a generous notice of two months. I signed up for child care vouchers and Early Head Start. B

    August 6, 2014

  • LETTERS: Leaders aren't using comprehensive plan Leaders aren’t using comprehensive planI got to watch two of our planning and zoning boards at work recently, and both times in public hearings they favored an outsider who has not lived up to any promised commitment over the testimonies of Tipton Co

    August 5, 2014

  • LETTERS: School, re-establish teacher-led prayer School, re-establish teacher-led prayer "Complaint ends teacher prayer," headlined the small article. Teachers were having prayer before school-sponsored events, someone complained about their child having to hear the prayer, and the Freedom from Rel

    August 4, 2014

  • LETTERS: A tale of two BZAs in Tipton County A tale of two BZAs in Tipton CountyIt was reported recently the City of Tipton Board of Zoning Appeals heard a variance request for a garage to be rebuilt on an existing concrete pad after the structure burned in May. The owner had to comply with the

    August 3, 2014

  • LETTERS: Concert Series 'beautiful musical experience' Store employees should split prizeSeveral weeks ago, a winning lottery ticket was purchased at one of our larger grocery stores. What I’d like to know is why the upper-management get a large cash prize (which they don’t need) while the employees of t

    August 1, 2014

  • LETTERS: Marriage culture in area must change Marriage culture in area must change Last week's article on the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Kids Count report caught my eye. While I'm happy that Indiana is improving in the educational domain, the poverty statistics are saddening. I was just s

    July 31, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
US Trying to Verify Video of American's Killing FBI Director Addresses Ferguson Shooting in Utah Raw: Police at Scene of St. Louis Shooting Police: 2 Calif. Boys Planned School Shooting NOLA Police Chief Retires Amid Violent Crimes Lunch Bus Delivers Meals to Kids Out of School Water Bottles Recalled for Safety Researcher Testing On-Field Concussion Scanners Rockets Fired From Gaza, in Breach of Ceasefire Raw: Japanese Military Live Fire Exercise Police, Protesters Clash in Ferguson Independent Autopsy Reveals Michael Brown Wounds Nashville Embraces Motley Crue Obama: 'Time to Listen, Not Just Shout' Lawyer: Gov. Perry Indictment a 'Nasty Attack' Raw: Russian Aid Convoy Crosses Into Ukraine Iowa Man Builds Statue of a Golfer Out of Balls Assange Gets Cryptic About Leaving Embassy in UK Raw: Building Collapse in South Africa, 9 Dead Raw: Pope Francis Meets 'Comfort Women'
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll
Kelly Lafferty's video on Tom Miller