(Sylvan Lake – WANE) Some angry homeowners pitched their tax assessments into Sylvan Lake Sunday afternoon. It was part of a symbolic Indiana Tea Party, that called for complete abolishment of property taxes. “Since 2004, my bills have gone up 300%,” says Noble County resident, Hugh Eshelman, one of about 100 people gathered at Sylvan Lake public access for the protest. After stuffing their property assessments from the state government into an oversized “tea bag”, the protesters watched as a representative from Hoosiers For Fair Taxation dunked the bag into the lake.
The protesters hope the soggy assessments will send a message to state legislators. “The state passes the buck. It’s not the local legislators,” says Noble County homeowner, Dave Schermerhorn. “The state needs to get on the stick and pass some fair and equitable property tax laws so we all pay a just amount.”
The Indianapolis group Hoosiers For Fair Taxation organized the event. It’s goal is not convince law makers to lower real estate taxes, but to get rid of them completely. “We are accepting nothing less than total repeal of all property tax in Indiana and we are not going away until we get what we want,” says an event organizer, Melyssa Donaghy.
The group says raising state sales tax from the current 6% to 23% would make up for lost property tax income. They say it would also be more fair. “If you got a complete sales tax, that includes everybody,” explains Noble County homeowner Pam Baker.
While not all of the protesters agreed getting rid of property taxes is the answer to increased property taxes, they did all agree on one thing, as another event organizer, Michael Friskney put it, “There’s got to be a better way than what they’re doing right now.”
Hoosiers For Fair Taxation has future events planned in South Bend and Indianapolis. For more information click here.
By Sylvan Lake – WANE