Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

January 10, 2013

Letters to the editor - Friday, Jan. 11, 2013

Lifting debt ceiling will cause rating cut

On page A5 of the Kokomo Tribune Jan. 6, there was an article entitled, “Obama wants action on borrowing limit crisis”.

The sixth paragraph reads, “But he [President Obama] said he will not compromise over his insistence that Congress lift the debt ceiling. The nation’s credit rating was downgraded the last time lawmakers threatened inaction on the debt ceiling, in 2011.”   

The credit rating of the United States was not downgraded because lawmakers “threatened inaction.” It was downgraded because the debt ceiling was once again raised with no serious plan to decrease spending.

Now President Obama has vowed he “will not comprise” – his determination is clear – the debt limit WILL be raised. And if President Obama’s insistence in raising the debt limit becomes reality, another downgrading of America’s credit rating will likely become reality too.     

Added to massive debt increases and the lowering of America’s credit rating, if President Obama gets his way, he will not need the vote of Congress to authorize future debt increases.

He will have full authority to truly take the United States over the financial cliff – the financial cliff of no return.  

Shelley G. Jones, Bringhurst

Peru GOP continues to butt into business

Once again, we see Peru Mayor Jim Walker whining about loss of tax collections and tax properties. What is amazing is I do not see the mayors from the surrounding communities doing the same.

Yes, they have the same problems, I am sure, but they deal with them without trying to change the rules.

In the most recent commissioners’ sale (Spring ’12), there were 87 parcels that were sold with taxes being collected on those parcels – taxes that would have been otherwise lost forever. Out of the 87 properties sold, 38 have been transferred to new owners, with 26 of them being in the city and then paying $16,115.37 in 2012 property taxes – also taxes that would have been lost. (These 26 would be equal to 161 other properties paying $100 a year.)

Also collected on those same properties was $29,949.24 in taxes from the commissioners’ sale, for a total of $49,064.61.

Of the 26 properties that were sold in the city, three responsible local investors bought eight properties for a total of more than 30 percent of the total redeemed.

The mayor should be reminded that on these properties, the investors do not get homestead credits, no supplemental credit, maybe a mortgage deduction. As usual, the mayor whines on either side of the coin, those who pay nothing or less than $100 a year, saying that city services cannot be supported on this amount of revenue, but also about the other side, where the investors are paying large annual amounts of taxes on the properties that they own, with the mayor saying they need to be “monitored.”

If the proposal is to “monitor” the tax sale properties, then do not discriminate – all properties need to be “monitored,” which is not currently being done. Even when complaints are filed, nothing is done.

For having a Republican mayor and a majority Republican council, the party that flies the banner of not interfering in business and having lower taxes, in this community at least, does not hold true, as more rules and regulations are passed yearly, with attempts to micromanage the city and implementing endless taxes and “user” fees.

Wayne Bunker, Peru