Monday, June 11, 2007

You Have Got to be Kidding Me

As a homeowner in the great state of Indiana, I'm well obliged to pay property taxes based upon the assessed value of my home.

Never mind that those doing the assessing are often elected at the township level. (Let's see, Marion County has 9 townships, Indiana has 92 counties meaning we've got 800 different people doing this job give or take. Think things may not be consistent?)

Also, please disregard the fact that since Indiana got rid of its tax on inventory, most of the financial burden has been shifted to property taxes meaning that some homeowners are going to be paying over 50% more annually with most people paying some increase.

No, please focus your attention on the systems, let's call them deductions, in place to help taxpayers alleviate some of this burden. In fact today is the final day to apply for the Homestead, mortgage, or any other deduction that might nibble away some of your property tax bill.

Homeowners can get a deduction of up to $206,500 off of the value of their home if they are a veteran...of World War I. It's been all over the news. (here, here, here, and also here.)

That's right, WW Uno. The War to End All Wars. The war formerly known as The Great War until Hitler decided to goosestep into Poland in 1939. The war that ushered out most of 19th century colonialism and killed somewhere near 10 million soldiers and sailors. It also ended on Armistace Day November 11, 1918. That day alone was a mere 88 years ago.

Thereby, if you were say a young recruit who falsified some records to land a spot in the infantry only to have the war end on your 16th birthday, you would now be a spritely 105 years old. Considering the United States' oldest citizen is only 114, your longevity isn't entirely unprecidented but that's still a pretty long time.

According to the never-failing Wikipedia, there are 5, count 'em 5, known living veterans of the First Wolrd the United States and none of them live in Indiana. Not to fall prey to the whims of some blogosphere nut out to maliciously skew wikipedia war data, I consulted the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. There were 5,343 Indiana veterans whose service preceded the World War II of the 2000 census. Even 7 years ago the VA wasn't keeping specific WWI data. And if these laws carry over to WWI widows, I'd love to see the count on those. Do you need both hands?

Franz Ferdinand is a bunch of Scottish guys in tight pants. The Ottoman Empire would likely be confused with fluffy footstools these days, and a Doughboy sells instant biscuits. If there are any World War I veterans alive in Indiana, God bless them, and I say give 'em a free ride for ol' Black Jack Pershing's sake.

How much time and money went into legislating this deduction? Are these news outlets not at all bothered by reporting this? Do they take us for morons? I'm starting to think Indiana's government is just another lost generation.

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