Speaking of germaneness and poison pills, Rep. Turner is seeking to amend House Joint Resolution 1. HJR 1 is the proposed “circuit breaker” amendment to the Indiana Constitution. It would allow the General Assembly to impose property taxes that are not uniform and equal in certain cases and would cap property taxes at 1% of owner occupied residential home value; 2% of renter occupied residential value; and 3% of any other real property value.
(And, just for the record, I call it the “anti-gay marriage amendment” as a sort of short hand. But that fails to capture the true horror of this proposed amendment. Remember that its second subsection really ties the hands of the legislature to define the rights of any unmarried couple. “This Constitution or any other Indiana law may not be construed to require that marital status or the legal incidents of marriage be conferred upon unmarried couples or groups.” The fairest reading of this text is that, if married couples have a legal privilege of some sort, a court cannot enforce any law passed by the General Assembly that attempts to confer the same privilege on any unmarried couple; same sex or not.)
Presumably the proposed amendment will be ruled not germane to the property tax issue and won’t even get a vote. If that’s the case, Rep. Turner will be saved from himself. I can only imagine the hell he’d have to pay if property taxpayers in his district figured out that property tax restructuring failed because Rep. Turner was obsessed with the gays.
(Suddenly I have the Tootsie Roll jingle going through my head: “Whatever it is I think I see, becomes like gay marriage to me”).