Converted from paper version of the Broad Ripple Gazette (v04n18)
posted: Sept. 07, 2007
*District 3 City-Councilman M. Ryan Vaughn (whose district includes Broad Ripple) recently wrote a letter to Speaker for the House B. Patrick Bauer discussing area property tax issues. Here are some excerpts from the letter he wrote, which was sent out to members of the community as well. To see the letter in its entirety, please visit the Gazette's website at www.broadripplegazette.com.
"Council District 3 is in Washington Township and is composed of primarily two taxing districts, 800 and 801. Washington Township has been hit exceptionally hard with implementation of new taxing methods. As a resident in taxing district 800, my property taxes rose 264%. Fortunately, my taxing situation is one of the more extreme increases in taxing district 800. The impact of this property tax crisis is much worse for the residents of taxing district 801 where the average increase in property tax bills was 93%. I have encountered many residents with much greater increases, some in excess of 300%. In all, the average resident in Washington Township is paying a staggering increase in excess of $3,300.00 more this year than last.
The magnitude of these increases will have a crippling effect on the lives of the people in Washington Township. Those on fixed incomes face unconscionable choices between food and medicine or losing their homes. Families are having to send stay-at-home parents of young children back to work, dip into retirement savings, cancel vacations, and re-evaluate education opportunities. The local economy including the restaurants and entertainment venues that make Washington Township such a great place to live and visit can expect to suffer similar losses as the discretionary income of its patrons is absorbed by taxes. These scenarios are not exaggerations; rather, real world examples from families with whom I have spoken. Without meaningful relief, Washington Township will no longer be a viable place to settle down and raise a family."
From Councilor M. Ryan Vaughn's Letter to Speaker of the House, B. Patrick Bauer
More from readers on Broad Ripple Crosswalks:
The crossing just east of Winthrop is unique and dangerous-not just because of the volume of traffic, but also because of the left turn arrow on Winthrop (which really is necessary) for the high volume of traffic coming south and turning east on the avenue. Cars watching that left turn arrow cannot see pedestrians on the trail, or cars that may be stopped for them, until they turn.
Mica Perry is quoted as saying "there have been no collisions involving pedestrians there." I personally have had three close calls recently-having to slam on the brakes as I made my turn. If I had been unable to stop, I could have pushed the cars standing there into pedestrians. Do we have to wait for an accident before we can improve the situation?
Some drivers are even guilty of stopping and waving pedestrians across-while cars are turning and braking behind them. One solution might be a signal flashing yellow on the avenue and red on the trail. And maybe "walk and wait" signals for the pedestrians coordinated with the signal on Winthrop.
If you can do anymore about this or have any suggestions, please let me know.
*In addition, the Indiana Code, as mentioned by Jim Alred in issue 17, does not address the issue of how to solve the left turn problem.
- Maytha J. Walker