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Posted by Matt Nowlin on Oct 3, 2017

As Gentrification Bill Considered, Values Increasing Quickly in These Neighborhoods

A proposal in the state legislature would offer long-time homeowners in designated areas relief from rising property taxes. Indiana House Bill 1056, which was debated in a study committee last week, would cap assessed value increases at three percent for eligible homeowners (those who have owned their house for at least ten years and whose houses are assessed at $100,000 or less). WFYI covered the story here.

According to SAVI, one third of Marion County’s nearly 300,000 owner-occupied parcels has experience assessed value increases of more than three percent from 2015 to 2016. However, most of these properties were worth more than $100,000 and would not qualify for the tax relief. Fifteen percent of owner-occupied parcels are worth $100,000 or less and saw assessed value increase by more than three percent. For those households, the typical (median) household saw assessed value increase by five percent.

*Homeowners in this category, if they owned their home for more than 10 years and lived in a designated area, would qualify for the program.

While these figures show the scope of climbing property values across the city, the critical piece of this legislation is the creation of designated areas within the city where the tax-relief would apply. These are required to be mainly residential areas and cannot make up more than five percent of the city.

The law describes the characteristics of these “designated areas” (high vacancy and abandonment, but expecting a rise in market value from rehab and infill), but it does not indicate how these areas should be measured. As a starting place, policy makers could look at areas where low and moderate value homes are increasing in assessed value quickly.

This map shows, for each block group in Marion County, the number of owner-occupied homes per square mile that meet these criteria: 1) are assessed at $100,000 or less and 2) experienced an increase in assessed value of more than 3% from 2015 to 2016.

Philadelphia’s Long-Time Owner-Occupants Program is a well-known example of a similar approach. In that case, however, owners are protected from assessed value increases of more than 300 percent, meaning the law does not kick in unless a home’s value tripled in one year. Philadelphia is experiencing dramatic changes in assessed value as it adjusts assessments to better match market value. Previously, assessments had been just a fraction of market value.

Lexington, Kentucky is considering a similar program. In its version of the policy, the tax relief kicks in if value goes up by more than twelve percent. Its program is also income qualified. Indiana’s law would not allow income as an eligibility factor.

While affordable rental housing can mitigate some of the impacts of gentrification for renters, policies like these property tax relief programs could be effective for long-time homeowners. In Indianapolis, the requirements of the proposed bill offer a useful framework to analyze changing property values.


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Posted by Allegra East on May 2, 2017

SAVE THE DATE! SAVI Talks! Unequal Access: Tobacco Retail in the Indianapolis Metro Area

Due to some scheduling conflicts, we have had to move the date for our SAVI Talks! program on tobacco access in Indianapolis to Thursday, June 29, from 7:45-10:00 a.m. at WFYI, 1630 N. Meridian Street, Indianapolis, IN 46202. We hope you will still be able to join us as the forum promises to be very enlightening!

The event will address highlights from the new report, Unequal Access: Tobacco Retail in the Indianapolis Metro Area, a companion piece to the IU Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health (IU-FSPH) September 2016 Report on the Tobacco Epidemic in Marion County and Indiana.

Using socioeconomic data culled from the SAVI community information system, the density and proximity of tobacco outlets relative to vulnerable communities will be examined. Purchasing access to various smoking products is an important consideration when discussing community action to improve a community’s health. Studies show that tobacco outlet density and proximity are linked to tobacco use–particularly in poor areas.

The presentation will feature a panel of experts on the topic including:

  • Paul K. Halverson, DrPH, FACHE, Professor and Founding Dean, IU Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health
  • Bryan Mills, President and Chief Executive Officer, Community Health Network
  • Moderator: Carmel Wroth, Managing Editor of WFYI’s Side Effects Public Media

We’ve invited a few other panelists and will share event details soon

Indiana consistently ranks as having one of the highest smoking prevalence rates in the nation. The most current data (from 2015) shows that one in five adults were smokers. Members from healthcare and business sectors in Indiana have been working to address this alarming issue from several angles.
Sponsored by the Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health with the support of the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation, IUPUI, the Polis Center at IUPUI, the IUPUI School of Liberal Arts, and WFYI.

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Posted by Allegra East on Aug 23, 2016

Indy Vitals Blog Series – Income, Unemployment, and Health Insurance in Indianapolis

By Tim Bailey, Data Analysis & Visualization Intern

You may be aware that the U.S. has a disproportionately large uninsured population when compared to countries with similar developed economies. While many of these countries have long had nationalized health care services, the U.S. has a deeply ingrained privatized free market system. How to best deal with this gap is certainly a political matter up for debate, but it may be helpful to take a step back and look at health insurance coverage data spatially. The goal of these visualizations is to show what the uninsured population looks like in Indianapolis and to evoke curiosity about what this means and what can be done to change it.

The top map shows the rate of residents without health insurance. Each year shows the average from the 5-year period before (e.g. 2012 would be 2006-2011). The scatterplot shows the relation between median household income, and the rate of residents without health insurance. Color on the scatterplot represents the rate of unemployment.

All of these measures are related. Areas with low incomes and high unemployment have higher rates of people without health insurance. Notice the neighborhood areas with the highest percentage of uninsured people was lower in the 2013 report compared to the 2012 report.

Interested in digging deeper? Visit indyvitals.org to explore trends in uninsured populations, median household incomes, and unemployment rates in Indianapolis neighborhood areas for different demographic groups.

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