Saturday, April 18, 2009


WOW!!! Way to be heard and seen, Freedom-Loving Hoosiers!!!!!

Although the local media would have us believe we only had around 2,000 attendees at the event (which would be correct if you were counting 2 hours before the event even started!), those trained in crowd control AND the IMPD estimated our rally had somewhere between 12,000 - 15,000 Peaceful Patriots!!!! In fact, the Capital Police remarked that they were amazed at how well behaved our crowd was!! AND, what's more, our volunteers expected to spend a few hours after the event, picking up trash and cleaning the area, BUT, there was hardly ANY evidence that 15,000 people were just there!! We Patriots sure know how to party AND not make a mess!!!

Richard and I want to thank each one of you who braved the crowds, the parking, the chilly temps AND rearranged your schedules to be a part of the rally to have our voices heard together! We really were the ROARING LION!! I know most of you did not have the vantage point that we had and could not see the crowd fully, but I want to tell you I was moved to tears on a number of occasions yesterday as I looked out at the sea of faces, the signs, the red, white and blue, ....friends, we are most assuredly are NOT ALONE!

So now what? "What can I do to get involved?", you ask. The first step is to make sure you stay in contact with the Indy Defenders of Liberty Meet-up Group. This will be the main "social group" site. There are currently LOTS of ways to be involved and get connected with other like-minded Hoosiers right in your area. Check out the message boards forum to get information on joining a Small Group. If there isn't a Small Group started in your area, YOU start one!! It's easy!! Just pick a date, a location and let me know and I'll put it out on the site. Take that step! Be a leader in your own community!

Also, continue to stay-up-to-date on the tea party site, http://www.indianapolisteaparty.com/. Now that the first "big event" is behind us, we will be working feverishly to improve the website to make sure everyone stays informed about the next steps in Reclaiming America! Want to volunteer or even take on a leadership role? Let me know! We will be having a leadership meeting as early as next week so that we can keep the fire burning!!

More importantly, don't forget to check out the Independence Caucus website to learn what truly goes on in Washington and WHY our calls, letters and emails really don't matter. As Frank Anderson, from the Independence Caucus said at the rally, you will find that there really isn't a Republican party or a Democrat party. It has become and "Incumbent" party. Their website, http://www.icaucus.org/, will show you why. Be prepared to be FURIOUS!

Again, on behalf of the over 100 Tea Party volunteers, THANK YOU Freedom-Loving Americans for joining us in having our voices heard. Let the non-representing representatives in Washington say, as Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto said after his attack on Pearl Harbor, "I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve."We are asleep no longer.


Richard & Laura Behney
Indiana Tea Party Coordinator

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


It is more than apparent that House Speaker Pat Bauer and his fellow Democrats in the General Assembly are not interested in giving Hoosier taxpayers permanent property tax relief.

Bauer and Company continue to play their childish games by refusing to give SJR1 a hearing in the Indiana house.

Rep. Davis presented House Speaker B. Patrick Bauer with a motion to suspend House rules for the purpose of voting on SJR 1. Speaker Bauer allowed House Republican Leader Brian C. Bosma to speak on the motion. “Rep. Davis has filed a motion pursuant to Rule 8 to suspend House Rule 85 immediately for a single purpose and that’s for voting on SJR 1,” Rep. Bosma said. Rather than allowing a vote on SJR 1, State Rep. Scott Pelath (Michigan City) quickly made a motion to adjourn as Bosma stood at the podium and House Democrats immediately exited the chamber. “Once again, the speaker has chosen to ignore House rules. Rule 8 clearly states that a motion to suspend a rule takes precedent over any other business and is in order at any time,” Rep. Jerry Torr said. “Instead of dealing with the motion to vote on the property tax cap resolution that more than 70 percent of Hoosiers want, they chose to adjourn.” (from Howey Politics)

So, let's get this straight. Polls show more than 70 percent of Hoosiers want permanent property tax caps. Yet the Democrats are chosing to ignore what their constituents so obviously want by refusing to vote on SJR1.

Just who do the Democrats represent down in the General Assembly? Their constituents or special interest groups and lobbyists. We'll bet you a dollar it's not the first choice!

Time to get on the horn and call Speaker Bauer at 1-800-382-9842 or email him at h6@in.gov and ask what he has against Hoosier taxpayers that he won't give us permanent property tax relief. His argument that he wants to wait to see what effect the caps will have on local governments is hogwash. There is still more belt-tightening that needs to be and should be done. Taxpayers aren't stupid. Clay doesn't need a leased car and the Hammond Special Events Coordinator doesn't need a take-home car. If taxpayers have to live within a budget so can governments!

If SJR1 does not pass this year, we need to work very hard to give Bauer and all his Democratic cronies the boot in the 2010 elections. The Democrats in the General Assembly are not a taxpayer's friend and never will be as long as Bauer remains in office and pulls the strings.


An April 1-2 Public Opinion Strategies Poll shows overwhelming support for property tax caps in Indiana. House Speaker B. Patrick Bauer’s refusal to allow a vote on the caps could be setting Democrats up for a major campaign liability in 2010.

Hoosiers support the caps 73-20 percent overall according to the poll commissioned by the Indiana Realtors. The intensity is over 3-1 for, 39 strong yes, 12 strong no. Virtually all demographics are supportive. Democrats support 66-27 percent. Independents support 72-20 percent. Self described liberals support 65-28 percent. Self described strong Democrats support 65-30 percent. Every income group is over 70 percent support, as is every age group. Urban 77-16; Suburbs 71-21, Rural 69-26.

Republican support is even stronger, all in the 80’s. The caps passed both the Indiana House and Senate by wide margins in March 2008. The constitutional amendment must pass both houses again by March 2010 in order to be placed on the November 2010 ballot.

From Howey Politics


Click on picture to enlarge for easier reading.


In addition to the key votes on House Bill 1730, which takes away the right to a referendum on new school buildings, the Indiana State Legislature will be voting this month on several other key bills that will have a big impact on Hammond taxpayers.


Senate Joint Resolution 1 (SJR 1) would provide for a referendum allowing Indiana residents to vote to cap property taxes at 1% for single family homes, 2% for rental properties, and 3% for business and industrial. This would become an amendment to the Indiana Constitution and could not be taken away without a vote of the taxpayers.

House Speaker Pat Bauer (phone 1-800-382-9842, email H6@IN.gov) currently is holding up a vote on this key resolution to make property tax caps permanent. Contact Pat Bauer and your local representative telling them to PUT SJR 1 TO A VOTE THIS YEAR. Vote FOR SJR 1 and give the voters a right to choose to make the property tax caps permanent.


Hammond elected officials have proposed a 16 1/2 % increase in the real estate (property) tax rate for Hammond taxpayers. Let your representatives know what you think about that.


Buses are very important to many people, and we do need a transportation system. Just be aware of the possible price.

Both the House and Senate are working on bills to establish a Regional Transportation District.
House Bill 1660 and Senate Bill 479 are in committees, and may be voted on before the end of this session.

These bills would give elected officials wide ranging powers to establish Regional Transportation Districts with even more wide ranging powers to establish new taxes including county income taxes, food and beverage taxes, special benefits property tax, county economic development taxes.

To keep a lid on new taxes, contact your State and local representatives.

Any State senator can be reached at 1-800-382-9467

Any State representative can be reached at 1-800-382-9842

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


The Indiana State Legislature is voting this month on a bill that would take away your right to a referendum -- your right to vote -- on any new school buildings.

House Bill 1730 would make it possible for cities to build and remodel schools without a referendum -- without giving taxpayers a chance to vote on it -- if the schools are "green" or energy efficient. If any new construction includes energy saving options, it means you lose your right to vote on all new buildings.

The bill now is before the Indiana Senate, which will vote on it before the session ends at the end of April.


Contact your State senator (Frank Mrvan is Hammond’s) at (800) 382-9467 to let him know it is important to keep your right to vote on any new school buildings.

Contact Governor Mitch Daniels at 317-232-4567 and tell him to Veto the bill if it does reach his desk.

The House of Representatives already voted 52 to 48 to pass this bill. Did your representative vote to take away your rights to a referendum?

State House district 1 Linda Lawson voted YES email H1@IN.gov

State House district 11 Dan Stevenson voted YES email H11@IN.gov

State House district 12 Mara Candelaria Reardon voted YES email H12@IN.gov

If you are not happy that they are taking away your right to vote on these important and very large school spending issues, let them know.

Why it is so important to keep your right to vote on new schools

The School City of Hammond already has overburdened the taxpayers.

Debt obligations for the School City of Hammond total more than $330 MILLION*
*Principle and interest, rounded to millions, from the Indiana Dept. of Education

  • That amount of debt comes to more than $23,000 per student.
  • The $104 million in interest on that debt is more than the entire debt of the City of Hammond.
  • Taxpayers of Hammond ultimately are responsible for this debt.

Building another high school could add another $250 million to that tax burden.

The School City of Hammond is failing the students.

The graduation rate for all Hammond schools ranks in the lowest 2% of all Indiana school districts.

More than half of Hammond's schools are failing:
Eight schools are on Academic Watch.
Five schools are on probation, with two of those in their 3rd year of probation.
None of Hammond’s four high schools meet State minimum requirements.

What you can do:

Attend the next school board meeting Thursday, April 23, 7 PM at Morton High School, 6915 Grand Avenue and let your voice be heard.

Contact the school superintendent Dr. Walter J. Watkins Phone: 219-933-2400 email:wjwatkins@hammond.k12.in.us

Blunt Proof of the Feasibility to Permanently Abolish Property Tax

Media Contacts:
Melyssa Donaghy 317-938-8913
Max Katz 765-409-6669

Hoosiers For Fair Taxation, Senator Delph, Representative Noe, Representative Elrod and many other legislators along with Stop Indiana, attorney John Price, Eric Miller's Advance America, and the Statewide Taxpayer Alliance know that property tax abolishment, without substantial increases in sales tax and income tax, is realistic and possible. The economist Dr. Bill Styring's 2/2/2 Plan demonstrates that the state of Indiana can completely replace property tax without changing the state's current spending habits.

Dr. Styring's plan does not account for positive changes in Indiana's economy that will undoubtedly follow the elimination of property tax such as heavy real estate investment and increased consumer spending due to increased statewide disposable income. The real estate investment in Indiana alone would cause such an economic boom that it could likely end our abandoned property and foreclosure crisis. Property tax elimination would also likely cause a surge in Indiana's population as more people locate to Indiana to take advantage of real estate purchase opportunities without the burden of property tax. With the population surge would come more sales and income taxes.

The General Assembly does not have to adopt a specific plan until the year 2011. In the meantime, we recommend that the General Assembly approves the 27steps outlined in the report prepared by the Sheperd Kernan commission. While the Governor's commission cannot forecast the savings to the state once the plan is implemented, there is no doubt that the savings would be substantial--perhaps equivalent to the the entire property tax burden currently placed on Indiana's homeowners because our legislators have not had the political will to liberate Indiana's governing structure and her taxpayers from the 19th century.

Our citizen networks will work to replace all legislators who do not support property tax repeal in the November 2008 election.

The 2/2/2 Plan, to replace property taxes in Indiana based upon the latest revenue forecast (07/08 fiscal, estimate):

1) Current IN sales tax (state level rate of 6%): $5.601 billion2% increase would yield an additional $1.867 billion

2) Current corporate profits tax: ~$2 billion

2% increase would yield an additional $.286 billion ($286M)

3) A 2% statewide average of the COIT would yield $2.705 billion to cover local civil units of gov.

By adding these three together ($1.867 billion + $.286 billion + $2.705 billion), a total of $4.858 billion is realized; enough revenue to replace property taxes.

Indiana has a 70-plus year history of attempts to lower property taxes by raising other, non-property taxes. In every case these have failed miserably. The new taxes, or higher rates on old taxes, remain in place. And, in short order, property taxes rise back to their old levels, poised to roar even higher.

--1933. General Assembly imposes two new taxes: an individual gross income tax and a corporate gross income tax. The morgue of the Indianapolis Star indicates that the political leadership at the time said this was for property tax relief (1933 was the pits of the Great Depression, and people were losing their homes. Home prices declined by over 40% in the 1929-1933 period). Property tax relief was nonexistent. The state used the money to bail out the state's own finances.

--1963. General Assembly imposes a new sales tax at a rate of 2% and changes the 1933 individual gross income tax (from 1933) to an adjusted gross income tax (the one we have now) at a rate of 2%. Again, the ostensible reason was for property tax relief and again little PTR was forthcoming.

--1967. Those 1963 tax changes were raising more money than projected. The GA decides to give back 8% of sales and income tax revenue to local government for property tax relief. Local units spent the money. No PTR.

--1973. Gov. Otis Bowen launches the most determined PTR offensive yet. The sales tax goes to 4% and a new corporate supplemental net income (profits) tax is imposed. Strict property tax levy controls are imposed. It works... for a time. By 1980, property taxes adjusted for inflation are some 30% lower than in 1973. When Bowen leaves office the levy controls are relaxed. By the end of the decade, property taxes (adjusted for inflation) are back to 1973 levels. The doubling of the sales tax rate from 2% to 4% remains in place, along with the new corporate SNIT.

--2002. More fiddling with the sales tax in the hope of property tax relief. The results of this are obvious, or we wouldn't be debating the current property tax mess. All of this suggests that unless the property tax is totally ripped up by constitutional amendment, the assessment and collection mechanism dismantled, it will grow back. The PTR-inspired hikes in other taxes remain. That is our history. It is a terrible deal for taxpayers.

2. A vote in the 2008 legislative session for a constitutional amendment to repeal property taxes does not amend the constitution. It merely starts the amendment process. Amendments must be passed by two consecutively elected General Assemblies, then submitted to a referendum. Thus any amendment passed by the '08 Assembly must be passed by either the 2009 or 2010 legislatures, then submitted to the voters at the 2010 general election. The General Assembly does not need to decide on a "replacement revenue" package until the 2011 session.

3. What might such a "replacement revenue" package look like? The particular answer will come from the 2011 General Assembly and cannot be determined now (if for no other reason than forecasting state level taxes and property taxes out that far would be a most unreliable exercise. No one need be locked into any particular plan just yet. However, as an illustration that a replacement plan is feasible and less scary than many fear (we don't need to be talking about a 12% or 13% sales tax ... in fact, we should not be), consider just this one possibility.

Local sales taxes are generally very bad policy, for a whole host of reasons too numerous to mention in this short sketch. Sales and corporate taxes are best levied at the state level. It happens that roughly a 2% increase in the sales tax and a 2% increase in the corporate profits tax roughly take care of school propertytaxes. The loss of local control by the state assuming school property taxes is minimal. About the onlylocal control left is on building projects.

For local civil units, a statewide average increase in the individual adjusted gross income tax of about 2% suffices to replace local civil government property taxes, higher than 2% in some units, less than 2% in others.

Thus, a "2-2-2" plan~2% sales and 2% corporate profits at the state level for schools and a 2% average on personal income taxes for civil units—is about what would be needed. This is merely a ballpark projection to 2011.

There may be better plans, it's really a policy question for the General Assembly: do you want to make the trade of something like this in exchange for no-property-taxes-forever-on-anything? Everyone understands "zero."

4. Are there "practical problems? Of course. The two identified are how to make the civil government transition from a property tax base to an income tax base, and how to handle debt backed by property taxes. Without elaborating, the former can be handled using locator software (Map quest-type programs). The debt problem might be handled by treating the current state paid PTRC's as in lieu of property taxes (which they are) and paying PT-backed debt service from each unit's own PTRC.

Conclusion: Total elimination of the property tax via constitutional amendment is the only way to give property tax relief that will stick. The other tax action necessary to achieve this goal—in 2011-are large but not so scary as "a 13% sales tax." They are feasible. The question is for the General Assembly. Are we going to once again go down that 70-odd year path of failed PTR policies or are we going to rip the property tax up by the roots?

Posted by Hoosiers For Fair Taxation on Friday, January 4, 2008.