Some Hope Indiana 'Tea Party' Sparks Tax Revolution

Hundreds Dip Tax Bills Into Canal In Protest

Despite a distance of hundreds of miles and hundreds of years, angry Indiana taxpayers recalled the spirit of the 1773 Boston Tea Party in a Saturday property tax protest in Indianapolis.

With 234 years separating the revolutionaries from today's Indiana crowd, voters hoped to send elected officials a message that they can spark a revolution, too, 6News' Tanya Spencer reported.

The Indiana Tea Party took place in Broad Ripple, on Indianapolis' north side. Fed up property owners put their tax assessments into a giant bag and drowned them in the canal.

"We hope it sparks a revolution, because if it doesn't, they will make a ghost town out of downtown and areas like this because people cannot afford to stay," said Jim Colzani. "They can't afford to sell. They will just lose their homes."

Since property tax bills were released several weeks ago in Marion County, there have been a series of vocal protests.

Gov. Mitch Daniels ordered the assessments tossed in Marion County and, later, Delaware County, putting large residential increases on hold for now.

Homeowners who 6News talked with on Saturday said Daniels' move is only a stopgap measure and that a more permanent solution will need to be found.

Some pointed out large businesses that got lengthy tax abatements to build in Marion County. Others advocated the elimination of property tax, in favor of higher income tax and/or higher sales tax.

"I think it is realistic. A year ago, I probably would have said it never would have passed the state Legislature," said Timothy Maguire, a Libertarian candidate for City-County Council. "People are angry. People are storming the Bastille. I think the legislators are hearing the message."

Several people got registered to vote during the protest, highlighting the belief of many that leadership change is needed to achieve property tax reform.

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