To the editor:
Right now might be a good time for the Marion County appraiser staff, county commissioners, and aggrieved citizens to all step back, take a deep breath, and emotionally cool down. I am sure there is some truth in what each of these groups is saying and also some fables. It is getting cluttered.
There are things that make the mil levy property tax system an unfair tax, thus making it hard to swallow as well as difficult to defend. People have let it go unchallenged for too many decades.
The appraised value is an opinion.
It is manipulated and gives special privilege. The property tax system exempts people and organizations because they file as a non-profit such as schools, hospitals, senior living homes, senior centers, museums, and churches. There is no such thing as a non-profit. How else can you buy property, pay utilities, supplies, and staff unless you profit.
It treats property tax payers unequally. Mr. Smith files for the Neighborhood Revitalization Program and builds a house next to Mr. Jones. Mr. Smith sends his kids to school and enjoys all the city and county services while only paying 10 percent tax his first year. His taxes will rise 10 percent a year until the 10th year when he will be paying 100 percent. Meanwhile, during these 10 years, Mr. Jones, who has lived in his house for 40 years, continues to pay his loyal 100 percent tax as he always has.
These three reasons alone are sufficient to make us all think. As I said at the beginning, there is some truth in all of what has been said. Why not devote our energy to seeking options? It just could be that the mil levy property tax has run itself out.