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OPINION April 24, 2015

Web Poll 4-9-15
Web Poll 4-9-15
Web poll results for the April 2 issue of The Plain Dealer

Assessment inequities and property tax caps
Dagney Faulk and Mike Hicks at Ball State University's Center for Business and Economic Research have written another excellent study of Indiana property taxes.
This one is about assessment quality. It compares thousands of homes to see if their assessed values match their sales prices, as they should in our "market value in use" system. Search for the center on the Internet, click "Current Studies" and you'll find it.
The study uses some standard measures of assessment quality. The sales ratio divides the assessed value by the sales price. Since the assessment should match the sales price, the sales ratio ought to be near one. Assessment experts like anything between 0.9 and 1.1. Indiana's average sales ratio in 2012 was 1.065, so that's pretty good.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Pesticide use and depression in farmers
Organic farming may be as important to the farmers who practice it as to those who purchase and eat the food they grow. This year, researchers with the National Institute of Health completed a landmark, 20-year study of the connection between pesticides and depression in farmers.
Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Congress and the President need to consult - and not just on Iran
Congress has developed a fondness for open letters when it comes to Iran. First came the warning shot signed by 47 Republican senators that touched off a storm of criticism. Not to be outdone, the House checked in with its own bipartisan and more diplomatically stated letter to the President, warning that its members must be satisfied with any agreement before they'll vote to reduce sanctions.
What lies behind these moves? I think Congress feels left out of foreign policy-making.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Tolerance for everyone of every faith
Over the past couple of weeks, you have likely heard a great deal of discussion regarding Senate Enrolled Act (SEA) 101, also known as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).
As a widely publicized issue, many constituents have reached out to me with questions and concerns regarding this legislation. Unfortunately, it seems that much of the confusion on this topic stems from misinformation presented by both sides on this issue.
So in this column today, I would like to address some of those misconceptions.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

RFRA is affront to Hanover College
I cannot know the motivations of the groups who supported, the legislators who passed, and the governor who recently signed into Indiana law the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).
And I cannot be certain of all of the consequences, predicted or threatened, that are likely to follow from legislation that has provoked such a stream of disappointment and anger.
But, I can point to consequences that are an affront to everything that Hanover College stands for as an institution of higher education.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

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