Monday, February 29, 2016

Pat Harrison's Slumlord Uprising of 2008, 6/6: "Endangered Slumlord Protection Act? Local rental property mogul and realtor cites a 'pitiful' absence of tax breaks."

Eight years later, and it's déjà vu all over again as Pat Harrison prepares to defend our downtrodden slumlords against the Gestapo.

The following was originally published here on August 22, 2007.



Endangered Slumlord Protection Act? Local rental property mogul and realtor cites a “pitiful” absence of tax breaks.

Back on August 12, the Tribune’s Chris Morris heeded the squeaky realtor’s wheel and considered the outer limits of the “American dream” (unlimited-horizon-free, New Albany-style):

Rental property owners in Clark, Floyd counties say enough is enough.

The idea sounds like a winner. You buy property, fix it up, find someone to rent it, and then sit back and collect the monthly check.

However, it’s not quite that simple, according to local Realtor Pat Harrison. In fact, she said what used to be the American dream of owning property has turned into a nightmare for many. The reason, she said, is property owners are being taxed to death.

“This state is not giving any kind of tax break on commercial and investment property. It’s pitiful,” Harrison said.

Chris didn't intend to be insightful, but his line, "sit back and collect the monthly check," is a classic.

Why do we get the sneaking suspicion that the next grinding trench warfare phase of trying to bring New Albany’s enduring “slumlord protection program” into line with the dictates of the 21st century will inevitably revolve around fanatical opposition (vigilance with Bics in hand, just itching to flick) to absolutely necessary rental inspection reform, on the spurious grounds that extreme poverty caused by Harrison’s “pitiful” absence of tax breaks should absolve owners of adhering to community standards?

We can hear the tune already, and it is discordant -- and dysfunctional -- as ever.

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