Recently the Fort Wayne City Council voted unanimously to speed up elimination of the inventory tax that has been felt for many years to be a hindrance to economic development in Indiana. That was a major step toward making Allen County and Fort Wayne more attractive to business. The major tax "problem" that remains is that many residential property owners are likely to get hit hard with their fall property tax bill. This is primarily because the courts have forced a change in the taxation system that tends to shift property taxes from business property to residential property and from newer residential property to older residential property. Unfortunately, there is only so much that can be done about this court-mandated shift in the tax burden. Various measures were passed by the state legislature that should help. Also, the Fort Wayne City Council recently pledged not to increase property taxes or local income taxes to replace the inventory taxes that won't be collected as a result of Council's unanimous vote. The Mayor has introduced another measure that makes a lot of sense to me. The basic concept is to give every residential property taxpayer a tax credit with the goal of helping to protect those taxpayers from being hit hard by the state-mandated shift of taxes onto the shoulders of residents of older homes. Of course, City Council and the Mayor will work hard to continue the several year tradition of keeping Fort Wayne's property tax levy below the maximum allowable under state law. I don't see any of the other many units of local government working that hard to protect the property taxpayer. You can expect Tom Hayhurst to continue that effort because the last thing I want to see is for city residents to be forced to move out of older neighborhoods due to an unfortunate court-mandated tax policy. More to follow....
Some energetic local citizens are working hard on a possible "all-Waynedale" picnic for adults and kids later this summer. It sounds like a great idea to me. Plans are still somewhat tentative. I'll pass on more information if the current plans become reality. Let me know if you'd be willing to volunteer to help with planning or with activities on the day of the picnic!
The Southwest Waynedale Association serves the residents of the area south of Lower Huntington Road and west of Bluffton Road (near Waynedale Park). That neighborhood association was organized several years ago and initially several projects were completed in the SWWA area under the able leadership of various individuals including Bill and Jane Devinney. Currently, the association has become inactive and is in need of 3-5 local citizens to provide the needed leadership. Thanks to the Devinneys and others for their hard work in the past. I'm hopeful some new volunteers will come forward to "take the reigns" of the SWWA. Give me a call if you're interested!
Congratulations to Paul Rykard of the Belle Vista Neighborhood Association for his recent honors as a "Sagamore of the Wabash". Paul and his wife Billie have worked hard for Belle Vista residents as well as for all Fort Wayne citizens and Paul has a great record of public service as a prior resident of Kentucky as well. Thanks, Paul, for all you have given to the community!
Be sure to let me know if I can answer any particular questions or address specific issues in this column! Have a great 4th of July!