PROPERTY TAX ELIMINATION ON SENATE WISH LIST

A memo unveiled in the State Senate yesterday puts the elimination of property taxes back on the front burner, and it could happen as early as this year.

The co-sponsorship memo indicates that if the Property Tax Independence Act is enacted, school districts would no longer collect new property taxes as of June 30th, while “a portion of the school property tax would remain only to pay off debt services that is on the books as of December 31st 2016.”

Appearing on Indiana In the Morning on 1160 WCCS earlier this month, State Senator Don White discussed property taxes for education funding, saying he came close to passing the legislation last fall but fell just short of the required number of votes. But he believes he has the numbers now, with four new senators who favor the elimination of property taxes replacing four who were against it.

The Property Tax Independence Act would shift about $12 billion in taxes to a combination of increased sales and personal income taxes, and White says it has broad support across the state. He estimates that 85 percent of the state’s taxpayers would be in favor of the bill.

Opposition is expected from state teachers’ unions and from many school districts which fear a loss of local control by not being able to tax property owners to fund building projects.

The Property Tax Independence Act has not yet been re-introduced in either the House or Senate.