Monday, October 11, 2010

Local Control and the Indiana Property Tax

Here is my recent op-ed in the IndyStar, which is part of a point-counterpoint debate in the Sunday Edition over putting property tax caps into the state constitution.

My argument against this is that it will lead to a bigger government, though its proponents (mostly Republicans) think the opposite is true. They could be right, but I think it is much more likely that the state will increasingly take over local government functions due to the volatility of non-property tax revenue sources of income. The operating budget of local schools have already been overtaken by the state as part of the quid pro quo for this policy, and there is discussion that the state might start pushing for a consolidation of smaller school districts to lower costs.

My preference is for locals to retain these functions where they make decisions on the basis of property taxes, rather than less salient sales or income taxes.

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