Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Opinion

April 30, 2014

MORTON MARCUS: Local economic development in doubt as governments are weakened

Recently I heard a state representative and a state senator discuss the activities of the 2014 Indiana legislature. Both men are intelligent, articulate and seem concerned about the well-being of our state and their constituents.

After listening to them, I wondered how much they and their colleagues thought about the implications of the General Assembly’s most recent attack on local government.

The legislature uses several means to weaken local government:

First, the unfunded mandate is popular. The state tells local governments (counties, cities, towns, school corporations, libraries, special districts) what they must do, but provides no money to carry out the designated activity.

Second, limiting local powers is common. Property tax caps, limitations on levies, restrictions on local gun laws and the denial of sales tax sharing are examples.

Third, the permission to do something possibly unwise and potentially unpopular is a specialty. Local option income taxes replacing local inventory taxes come to mind.

This third method, set the stage for lowering business property taxes in the most recent session. It was typical legislative sleight of hand, supported by the governor.

The legislators recognized reducing or eliminating business personal property taxes cuts about $1 billion from local government revenues. Therefore, they set a 2015 date for this provision to take effect. The same solons also approved a measure allowing local governments to offer firms 20 years of real property tax abatement.

They did not mandate the end to business personal property taxes. They did not require 20 years of real property tax abatement. They let the individual localities slit their own throats in the competitive battles to come between neighboring communities.

This is seen by the legislature as good government, allowing local officials to decide how to benefit businesses by raising taxes/fees on local residents or by cutting services. It takes the lobbying pressure off state officeholders and puts it on local politicians.

Text Only
Opinion
  • OUR VIEW: Always take depression seriously Few celebrity deaths have had the emotional global impact than that of actor/comedian Robin Williams, who committed suicide on Aug. 11 at his home in Tiburon, California. He was 63 years old. Anybody who happened to be on social media that day knows

    August 20, 2014

  • MAUREEN HAYDEN: ‘Spirits’ return to state fair Brad Hawkins felt right at home hawking his beer at the Indiana State Fairgrounds last week. When Hawkins opened his Salt Creek Brewery in a converted filling station in tiny Needmore three years ago, some tee-totaling neighbors protested he was putt

    August 18, 2014

  • GN140807 ox bow tower groundbreaking 01 OUR VIEW: Ox Bow tower brings our community together There’s something to be said for a new beginning. There’s a freshness, an excitement about leaving certain failures and traumas behind as we take clear and confident steps toward better and stronger tomorrows. That’s our take on what happened this pa

    August 11, 2014 2 Photos

  • Public safety workers close ranks around gay, lesbian colleagues INDIANAPOLIS – Jason Miller has spent 15 years in a job he loves. He’s an emergency medical technician working two jobs as a first responder, and he’s training to become a firefighter in Kokomo. Miller loves the reward of helping others, he said, and

    August 11, 2014

  • Funds, public likely to decide personnel issue Goshen city government department heads made good arguments last week why they need more funding for services. But it’s unlikely the City Council can meet all the requests, or perhaps none of them.Department superintendents and police and fire chiefs

    August 3, 2014

  • Public notices help government transparency Government units inform Americans about important actions taken or contemplated by placing public notice advertisements, or “legals,” in newspapers. This practice, as old as the United States, is no less valuable in an electronic age than it was when

    August 2, 2014

  • MORTON MARCUS: The nation’s higher education funding mess cannot continue Public higher education financing is unsustainable as currently configured. This conclusion was reached by two important groups over the past two years. The National Association of State Budget Officers and the State Higher Education Executive Office

    July 30, 2014

  • MAUREEN HAYDEN: 9/11 Commission chair scolds Congress Retired Congressman Lee Hamilton has warned of the perils of political ideology, calling the body where he spent 34 years “noxiously partisan.” Now, he worries the divide is downright dangerous. A co-chairman of the 9/11 Commission, Hamilton and fell

    July 28, 2014

  • GN140725 fair faces flowers 2 OUR VIEW: Another great fair is in the books Here at The Goshen News there are always mixed feelings when the Elkhart County 4-H Fair concludes for the year. On one hand, we’re as exhausted as anybody. This year’s nine-day event kicked off on July 18 and ran seemingly non-stop until the Mad Bom

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Full STEAM ahead for Fairfield Fairfield Community School students and parents are enjoying their summer holiday and the Elkhart County 4-H Fair this week, but looking ahead to the coming school year, there are big decisions to be made that will impact their lives.The school board

    July 26, 2014

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video
Raw: Russian Aid Convoy Arrives in Ukraine Hamm Talks Emmy Chances Okla. Policeman Accused of Sex Assaults on Duty Raw: Egypt Bus Crash Kills at Least 33 Two Bodies Found in Adjacent Yards Dominican Republic Bans Miley Cyrus Concert Raw: Israeli Air Strike in Gaza Raw: Rescue Efforts Suspended at Japan Landslide Raw: Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in Malaysia Raw: Smaller Marches in Ferguson Attorney: Utah Eatery Had Other Chemical Burn Farm Resurgence Grows With Younger Crowd Microbrewery Chooses Special Can for Its Beer Ky. Firefighters Hurt in Ice Bucket Challenge Federal Investigation Will Look at Use of Force Community Deals With Michael Brown Aftermath US: We Do Not Pay Ransom to Terrorists Life on the Professional Video Game Circuit Ramen Health Risks: The Dark Side of the Noodle
Poll

Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

I think it’s a good idea to feed all the students free of charge
I think those who can afford it should pay for their school meals
I think all students should be required to pay for their school meals
     View Results