INDIANA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, INC. September 23, 2007 Contact: Stacey Hartman FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (317) 644-9210 email@example.com Indiana REALTORS® Unveil Property Tax Reform Agenda Plans Calls for Hoosiers to “Get Real”, Demand Reform from Elected Officials (INDIANAPOLIS, IN) – Indiana REALTORS® today unveiled their property tax reform agenda, a plan that calls for Indiana to eliminate its township assessment system and consolidate layers of local government while, at the same time, reducing reliance on property taxes and replacing them with broad-based taxes centered on an ability to pay. “The current property tax mess is the product of three decades of decisions by public officials in both political parties at both the state and local levels,” said Karl Berron, CEO of the Indiana Association of REALTORS®. “When it comes to property tax reform, we, as Hoosiers, have resisted change for too long; we cannot afford to do so any longer. REALTORS® are offering a plan that calls on everyone in Indiana to step out of their comfort zone, accept the needed changes and demand reform.” Citing high foreclosure rates, stagnant and falling home prices, and a general uncertainty amongst employers, Berron continued by saying, “REALTORS® understand the property tax system. It’s our business. We know it affects everyone and while it’s complicated, the good news is that real reform is attainable.” REALTORS® propose the following: 1. Eliminate the township assessment system – At 1,008, Indiana has way too many assessors. Eliminating township assessors and creating fewer and larger jurisdictions will lead to equitable, fair market value assessments. Assessors, having the important job of valuing property for tax purposes should also be educated, trained and certified as real estate appraisers. In addition, they should be appointed and not subject to political pressure to complete their ministerial jobs. 2. Consolidate local government – Local government must be willing to accept reasonable reforms of their current antiquated structure. Until they do, voters should not tolerate their call for new sources of revenue. Indiana has more than 2,700 units of local government with the authority to levy property taxes. Consolidation will simplify local government, provide transparency and give local government the capacity to address the problems of today. 3. Cut property taxes – Examples of reasonable and realistic actions include: moving certain levies now supported by property taxes – such as court, school and welfare costs – to the State or restricting a property taxpayer’s maximum tax bill to a certain percentage – such as 1% - of their assessed value each year. Finally, we must acknowledge that we are not going to eliminate property taxes. The offsetting tax increases necessary to replace these funds would not be tolerated by voters and would harm our economy. Likewise, we cannot risk major cuts in critical services like education. Those who say otherwise are not being honest with Hoosiers. EXECUTIVE OFFICES: 7301 N. SHADELAND AVE., STE. A, INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA 46250 GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS OFFICE: CIRCLE TOWER B UILDING, 55 MONUMENT CIRCLE, STE.712 INDIANAPOLIS, 46204 TELEPHONE (317) 842-0890-- TOLL-FREE (800) 284-0084-- FAX (317) 842-1076 -- WWW .INDIANAREALTORS.COM REALTOR® is a registered mark which identifies a professional in real estate who subscribes to a strict code of ethics as a member of the National Association of REALTORS® INDIANA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, INC. REALTORS® will be on hand to discuss these and other details of their Reform Agenda, as well as reveal their “Get Real” campaign, at a press conference on Thursday, September 27th, during their annual Fall Conference at the Sheraton Indianapolis Hotel & Suites, 8787 Keystone Crossing. The press conference will begin at 10:00 a.m. ### EXECUTIVE OFFICES: 7301 N. SHADELAND AVE., STE. A, INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA 46250 GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS OFFICE: CIRCLE TOWER B UILDING, 55 MONUMENT CIRCLE, STE.712 INDIANAPOLIS, 46204 TELEPHONE (317) 842-0890-- TOLL-FREE (800) 284-0084-- FAX (317) 842-1076 -- WWW .INDIANAREALTORS.COM REALTOR® is a registered mark which identifies a professional in real estate who subscribes to a strict code of ethics as a member of the National Association of REALTORS®
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