Random Thoughts

By Scott Tibbs, October 26, 2007

♣ If the Code Pink radical who confronted Condoleezza Rice wants to win people to her side, making herself look like a crazed fanatic is not the way to do it. In fact, she’s lucky to be alive after that stunt. Given her threatening pose and the split-second time needed to react, one could easily interpret her actions as those of someone about to violently attack the Secretary of State.

♣ I don’t have a problem with increasing the fare on Bloomington Transit to $1, if the increase is needed. However, BT needs to change their arbitrary and illogical transfer policy. It is beyond stupid to prohibit a transfer between bus routes that do not cross but come within three blocks of each other, as is the case with Routes 1 and 6.

♣ Governor Mitch Daniels proposed some good ideas that will improve the property tax system if implemented. Capping the property tax at 1% of a home’s assessed evaluation does not solve the problems of homes that are assessed too high. The main problem with the plan is that it fiddles around the edges of a broken system. Ultimately, we need to abolish the property tax. Indiana needs a fairer and less destructive way to fund local government.

Ron Kadish whines that Kruzan needs to be re-elected because it is difficult for artists to make a living in Bloomington. Why should I, as a taxpayer, be forced to supplement the income of an artist if he is not able to generate enough business to make money? Should we have tax subsidies for ice cream shops? What about clothing stores or small local video stores? Subsidies for the arts is nothing more than socialism.

♣ I have been asked elsewhere if churches should be subject to property taxes. The answer is an emphatic no. Subjecting churches to property taxes would be a major burden on churches already struggling to get by and would therefore be a restriction on religious freedom. Local government is on a frozen levy and adding churches to the tax rolls won’t increase the $$ to local government by one dime.

Like private charities, churches also benefit society through collections for the poor and so forth. Charitable organizations get the same exemptions that churches do under 501(c)3. If government is going to tax churches, the only way to be fair is to tax Middle Way House and other charities like it.

Finally, the idea that exempting churches (or mosques, synagogues, temples, and so forth) from taxation is “unconstitutional” is laughable. So long as government does not pick and choose which religions to exempt, there is no “respecting an establishment of religion” and therefore no Constitutional problem.