The bill emerged from conference committee this week and passed the House 91-2. The Senate also passed the measure, 50-0.
The delay in property tax payments often forces schools to borrow large sums of money, incurring interest charges in the process. Between '06 and '09 LaPorte County school corporations incurred interest charges exceeding $3 million.
Any interest accrued on the borrowed funds must be repaid with taxpayer money that could have otherwise been used in the classroom or for other critical services.
"During these tough economic times, schools need all the help they can get," said Rep. Dermody. "Forcing schools to borrow funds because tax bills have not been timely is unacceptable. I was pleased to co-author this important measure to help protect schools and taxpayers alike."
HB 1059 would also require counties that are unable to mail their tax bills on time to instead mail a provisional tax bill that is to be paid in two equal installments on the normal spring and fall due dates. The provisional tax bill must be equal to the taxpayer's actual property tax bill from the prior year.
When the county finalizes the actual tax bills the county must then mail a statement reconciling the difference between what the taxpayer paid on the provisional bill and what the taxpayer actually owes.