(STATEHOUSE) Jan. 24, 2008 - Hoosiers are a step closer to property tax relief after the Indiana House of Representatives on Thursday passed House Bill 1001 by a vote of 93-1. Rep. Matt Bell (R-Avilla) voted for the bill, which now heads to the Indiana Senate.
The bill contains about $700 million in new property relief, along with $250 million in already scheduled relief for 2008 and about $300 million in relief in 2009. The immediate relief should cut most homestead property tax bills by about one-third.
It also removes school operating and transportation funding and child welfare funding from local property tax, shifting the responsibility to the state.
"Even though I'm disappointed that the referendum was diluted, I'm glad to see this bill moving through the process quickly," said Rep. Bell. "Taxpayers deserve relief now, and I'm optimistic that as this bill continues through the process, both sides of the aisle will continue to work together to do what is best for the people of Indiana."
Several elements of the House Republicans' Standards for Success were eliminated or altered in the final bill, such as a state spending cap and a strong referendum process. The bill does not have a state spending cap, and voters would be allowed to vote only on school projects not directly related to classroom learning, such as athletic fields.
Although the bill has been changed from its original form, it still contains several elements that House Republicans have fought for. It offers immediate property tax relief, includes caps on property taxation and includes at least some form of public referenda on public spending.