Scott Tibbs
Printed in the Indiana Daily Student, 09-29-1999

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Tax referendum demands votersí attention

To the editor:

How many of you can afford an increase in your rent?

This November, there will be a very important issue on the ballot for IU students. It is a referendum on a massive $6.8 million dollar property tax increase brought forth by the school board so they can have the money to fulfill their "wish list." Nevermind that MCCSC is in the top 14 percent in spending per student and in the top 20 percent in property tax levys, according the Indiana Department of Education Web page.

If you rent an apartment or house here in Bloomington, you have reason to vote against this referendum. Simply put, your landlord does not have a money tree. If the property taxes go up on your house or apartment, he will pass that increase on to you in the form of higher rent.

On August 30, Bloomington Mayor John Fernandez endorsed the property tax increase. Of course, it's not surprising that the mayor would support such a large tax hike, considering Fernandez lives in an area with a major property tax abatement.

Following closely on the heels of this tax increase, we have a complete overhaul in how property is assessed in Indiana. We are moving to a full-market value system, which means that property owners could see a major increase in their property taxes. And that means, you guessed it, your rent will go up.

We know the reassessment is coming, and there's nothing we can do about that. But we can stop the property tax increase by voting "no" on the referendum.

If you're not registered to vote, you need to do so today.