Flexibility to change

It takes courage for anyone, but especially a high-profile political figure such as our governor, to admit publically that a program for which he or she was responsible failed to deliver as promised.

To his credit, Governor Daniels’ tenure has been marked by innovation and action. But even as he has proceeded with an aggressive agenda, there have been times when he has demonstrated the flexibility to reconsider and adjust his position as new information or public reaction dictated. Cancelling the IBM contract with FSSA is the latest example of this. He demonstrated similar flexibility when he decided not to pursue the Central Indiana “commerce connector” highway when the public failed to embrace his vision of a 21st century transportation network.

Times change; circumstances change; the economy changes. When those changes happen, government needs the flexibility to react. That’s why it is so difficult to understand why our governor, who has demonstrated the courage to acknowledge that major policy initiatives don’t always play out as anticipated, is so adamant that the 1-2-3 property tax caps – which are already placing severe hardship on many local units of government – should be locked into the state’s Constitution.

Indiana Farm Bureau and its members heartily endorse the governor’s initiative to control spending at all levels of government. We agree that measures to reign in excesses need to be pursued. At the same time, we recognize the danger in irrevocably committing to any initiative before its ramifications are fully understood. We don’t want Indiana to end up like California where overly ambitious property tax controls have driven the state into virtual bankruptcy.

Therefore, while we applaud Governor Daniels for his courage and wisdom in addressing the FSSA situation, we ask him to exercise similar conservative discretion and reconsider his endorsement of the constitutional amendment to render the 1-2-3 property tax caps irrevocable.

Bob Kraft,

Director of State Government Relations,

Indiana Farm Bureau Inc.

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