A Letter to Rep. John Barnes and Gov. Mitch Daniels

Dear Gov. Daniels and Rep. John Barnes,

My name is Justin Harter. I’m a home-owning, tax-paying resident of Indianapolis’ Warren Township. Aside from all the banter regarding township government in Marion County, I have a more important issue. It’s about the Homestead Tax Deduction.

You see, I bought my house in October of 2007. I was told that because the home I bought wasn’t owner-occupied prior to my purchase, I would need to file for a Homestead Tax Deduction. Currently, my mortgage for a modest three bedroom home north of Beech Grove costs $906 a month. That includes principal, taxes and insurance.

I filed for my deduction in November 2007. Gov. Daniels, you signed an order extending the Homestead Tax Deduction deadline a few months when taxpayers erupted at poor assessments in Marion County. Unfortunately, I still did not get covered. That meant I had to wait until May before the changes would, in theory, take effect.

No such luck. Since Indiana pays taxes one year in arrears, my tax deduction wouldn’t take effect until May 2008. At that point, I’d still have to wait ANOTHER year before I’d start seeing deductions on my monthly mortgage payments. I expect to save nearly $250-$300 a month when the deduction finally applies.

At this rate, over the last three years, come November 2009, I will have paid $9,000 in additional taxes that should never have applied in the first place if one could just walk to the Assessor’s office and simply file for the exemption and have the changes take effect in a few months.

In terms of our economy, do you know what I could do with an extra $250 a month? Or what I could do with $9,000? I could pay off nearly half of my car. Or, I could have been paying the same $906 a month and paid off my mortgage in a fraction of the 30 year term.

Has anyone given any thought to changing the way Indiana files Homestead Exemptions?



Justin Harter

Indianapolis, District 89

Editor’s Note: This message has been mailed to Ind. Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) and State Rep. John Barnes (D., Indianapolis). 

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Photo of Justin Harter


Justin has been around the Internet long enough to remember when people started saying “content is king”.

He has worked for some of Indiana’s largest companies, state government, taught college-level courses, and about 1.1M people see his work every year.

You’ll probably see him around Indianapolis on a bicycle.

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