Here are the materials available on this web site, organized by topic.
State and Local Government in Indiana
Capital Comments is Larry DeBoer's monthly newspaper column on State/Local Government and economic issues. This is a link to the archive of past columns on the Purdue Agricultural Communications website.
Tax Restructuring in 2002
Indiana's 2002 Tax Restructuring: An Outline. Lists and explains the changes in the Indiana tax structure passed by the General Assembly on June 22, 2002. (Created August 2002)
The Supreme Court's Local Laws Decision
The Indiana Supreme Court Decision on Special or Local Laws. Describes the Supreme Court's decision in South Bend v. Kimsey (1/15/03), and speculates on its effect on future local laws (Created May 2003).
State Government in Indiana
The State Budget
Hot Topic. The State Budget. The state's budget is like yours. When you spend more than you earn, your checking and savings account balances go down. That's what happened to the state budget after the last recession.
The Outlook for the State Budget. What the recession did to the state budget, how the state recovered, and what a new recession might do (Revised August 2008).
The Indiana State Budget. Explains state revenues, appropriations and balances, with a table showing the state budget as a kind of checking account. (Revised August 2008)
Indiana State Government Fund Balances. Explains what a fund is. Discusses the five parts of balances, and shows where it's been since 1976, and where it's going. (Revised August 2008)
Indiana State Revenue Projections. How Indiana predicts future state revenues, and how far actual revenues fell short of predictions during and after the last recession. (Revised August 2008)
The General Assembly
How To Follow The General Assembly Over The Internet. Some links to the General Assembly's website, how to listen in on the debate, and some links to television and newspaper sites that cover the legislature.
Local Government in Indiana
Local Government Finances in Indiana. Discussion of the big picture: what are Indiana's local governments, how do they decide how much to spend, and what are the major tax and state aid sources of revenue. (Updated August 2002)
Local Government Budgeting. Explains the process that local governments use to set their spending levels and tax rates, using the actual Indiana budget forms. Shows how budgets can be understood by rearranging them into checking account form. (New November 2006)
The Fiscal Impact of Development. What happens to government revenues and costs when new housing or businesses local in a local jurisdiction?
Local Government Expenditures
Local Government Services
Local Government Services. Explains what services local governments provide, how much they cost, and which services are provided by which governments.
Local Government Revenues
Overview of Indiana Local Government Revenue. It's a $12 billion topic, but here's a short cut to understanding the important stuff. (Updated August 2002)
How Indiana's Taxes Compare to Other States. Are Indiana's state and local taxes high? Low? Middling? Here's a comparison to other states in our region.
The Indiana Property Tax
Overview of the Indiana Property Tax. Discussion of assessed value, levies, rates and credits, plus the 1998 Supreme Court decision, reassessment and tax restructuring. (Revised Augusta 2006)
Property Tax Assessment
Property Tax Assessment Policy in Indiana. Detailed discussion of property assessment policy since the 1998 Supreme Court decision. (Revised July 2006)
Results of the 2002-2003 Reassessment in Indiana. Shows the changes in assessed values and tax bills by class of property and by county. Also shows the results of tax restructuring. (New July 2006)
How Farm Land is Assessed in Indiana
Hot Topic. Farm Land Assessment. Farm land is not assessed based on market value. Why not? How is it assessed? What difference does it make? Find the answers here.
Farm Land Assessment for Property Taxes. An essay with details about "use value assessment," the "base rate" of farm land, the effect of farm land assessment changes on taxes, and a look at future changes in farm land assessments. (Updated February 2008)
The Taxpayer and the Indiana Property Tax
Hot Topic. The Taxpayer and the Property Tax. The whole Indiana property tax system is on your property record card, assessment notice and tax bill, if only you know the jargon.
How Your House Is Assessed. Uses an Assessment Record for a house in Tippecanoe County, Indiana, to describe how houses are assessed. (New August 2005)
How To Read Your Assessment Notice. Uses an Assessment Notice from that same Tippecanoe house to explain what the assessment notice means. (Revised November 2006)
How To Read Your Property Tax Bill. Uses a Tax Bill from that house again to show how the numbers on the tax bill add up to what you owe. (Revised August 2005)
The Property Tax on Business Inventories
The Property Tax on Inventories. Detailed discussion of the Indiana property tax on business inventories. (Revised April 2003)
Local Option Inventory Deduction
The Local Option Inventory Deduction. Tax restructuring in June 2002 allows counties to eliminate inventory taxes right away, and offset the tax shift to homeowners with a higher homestead credit and a higher local income tax rate. (Revised May 2003)
The Three Local Income Taxes
Hot Topic. CAGIT, COIT, CEDIT, Whatzit? Interested in local income taxes? Come to Indiana: we've got three. Or maybe seven.
Indiana's Local Income Taxes. Detailed discussion of Indiana's three local income taxes (Revised October 2007).
Motor Vehicle Excise Tax
The Motor Vehicle Excise Tax
Indiana's Motor Vehicle Excise Tax. Discussion and data on the local tax on motor vehicles. (Updated August 2002)
State Aid to Local Schools
State Aid to Local Schools. A simple explanation of the way the state allocates aid to local school corporations, with links to the whole story.
State Aid for Highway, Road and Street Maintenance and Construction
Hot Topic. Pickup Trucks and Road Money. Pickups drive on the roads, but they don't count for all the road money. How come?
State Aid for Local Roads. Details on the formulas and some data tables. More coming.
Just for Fun
Indiana Courthouses. Pictures of most of the Indiana county courthouses, taken by a couple of Purdue professors.
Indiana Government Buildings and Historic Sights. Pictures of other important and not-so-important government buildings, monuments and historic sights in Indiana.
The Indiana Pi Bill, 1897. In 1897 the General Assembly almost declared pi to be 3.2, but just in Indiana.
Was "Louie Louie" Banned in Indiana? Fans of the old rock 'n' roll song claim it was banned in Indiana in 1964. It was, sort of. Here's the story.
Pictures of Purdue University.