Homeowners through-out Indiana will face increases in their property taxes as local assessors hike values for the first time in several years. The amount of your increase depends upon tax rates set by your local units of government.

Then comes the government speak that translates into some homeowners seeing their property taxes increase as much as 300-400 percent. This in turn led to “hundreds of people pinched by soaring property tax bills boosted turnout Wednesday at a holiday tax protest.” Had I received our bill by then, I’d have been one of them. And folks want to ask “am I angry?”

We live in the land of opportunity, seeking prosperity for ourselves and a legacy for our family. The lure of home ownership is part of what we’ve defined as the American Dream. Ownership means folks have a stake in the community. Higher taxes may seem like uptown problems, but—as Indiana faces a skyrocketing foreclosure (and bankruptcy) rate—we risk knocking the legs out of the housing market once folks realize they can’t afford the tax on their dream.

I don’t mind making sacrifices and paying my fair share, however, there is a tipping point. We’re told that we need to do all this stuff to attract business, such as abolish the inventory tax; but I’m here and I work. Putting it all on the backs of your base is ridiculous. We’re taught that spending our money renting is a waste of our money, that ownership is the first step in the accumulation of wealth; but all of a sudden it seems downright affordable. Well, until you think that someone is paying the taxes on that property, too; and those costs will only be passed along to the renters. And folks want to ask “am I angry?”

The idea of home ownership strikes a special cord with me. Many leaders from Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, and Malcolm X have been encouraging people to parlay land ownership into self-sufficiency and economic power. One of the American values is self-determination and economic empowerment is a pivotal part of that equation. We’re told to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps when many folks don’t even have boots. Some of us are still trying to make sure the shoes fit because it’s difficult enough to run a race when one’s shoes are tied.

Many folks are clutching to middle class by our fingertips. Essentially our government is asking an extra three months mortgage payment out of me; or, to put it another way, an entire month of my wife and I’s combined salaries. Everyone in office, regardless of party, when this went through needs to go. It’s not that long until November. And folks want to ask “am I angry?” Yeah, I’m ready to throw some tea into Eagle Creek.

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