Rep. Torr: A Sad Tax Day for Hoosiers

Thursday, April 16, 2009 7:00 pm

Start Date:  4/16/2009  All Day  
End Date:  4/16/2009    
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STATEHOUSE - House Democrats ran out on permanent property tax relief today before the Caps Clock did, Rep. Jerry Torr (R-Carmel) says.

Today was the deadline for the third reading of bills in the House. House Democrats voted to adjourn until Monday. Unfortunately, Tax Day came and went without Hoosier taxpayers getting their wish for permanent constitutional property tax protection.

According to a poll taken earlier this month by Public Opinion Strategies, almost three-quarters of Hoosiers support the permanent constitutional property tax caps. Political leanings are irrelevant, the poll showed: 66 percent of Democrats support the caps, 72 percent of independents support them and more than 80 percent of Republicans would like the caps adopted.

"You cannot deny that Speaker Bauer knows how to play the game to get his way," said Rep. Torr.  "He's a skilled tactician.  I just wish he'd start using this skill to benefit the folks that put us in office. 

"More than 70 percent of Hoosiers support SJR 1, and his decision to duck and weave his way out of any action on the resolution is just irresponsible.  Worse, it obliterates Hoosiers' trust in their elected officials and demeans the seriousness of our position and Indiana's current economic situation."

If the House had passed Senate Joint Resolution 1, already passed by a bipartisan majority of the Senate, Hoosier voters would have had the opportunity in 2010 to vote on whether to permanently include the caps in the Indiana Constitution. The property tax caps would limit bills to 1 percent of the property's assessed value for homesteads, 2 percent for residential rental property and farmland and 3 percent for other business property.

The House must complete its work before the April 29 statutory deadline.