Property Tax Caps Clear Major Hurdle
Rep. Foley optimistic that caps will pass this session
STATEHOUSE-Constitutionally protected property tax caps passed a significant hurdle today in the House of Representatives, in spite of House Democrats filing three amendments in an attempt to delay passage of the caps. The property tax caps constitutional amendment, also known as House Joint Resolution 1 (HJR1), passed today on second reading, without amendments, and will be eligible for third reading and final passage on Monday.
"The new short session began very fast with bills already being heard in committee before the session even commenced," said Rep. Ralph Foley (R-Martinsville). "The most important action of the week was concerning HJR1 which puts into the state constitution the property tax caps called 1, 2, and 3 percent. Under those caps the general assembly will still be able to pass legislation.
"It is the goal of the general assembly to have tax caps on the ballot in November so the citizens of Indiana can decide the issue. The issue had three amendments, it was my position and I was able to argue that these amendments would change the issue and delay property tax caps for Hoosiers."
In response to the property tax crisis that homeowners experienced in 2007, the Indiana General Assembly passed legislation in 2008 that capped homeowner's property taxes at one percent, rental and agricultural property at two percent and business property at three percent. The bill passed with an 82-17 vote in the House and 41-6 vote in the Senate.
House Republicans pledged to add this reform to the Indiana State Constitution. In order for a new provision to be added to the state constitution, it must be passed by two separately elected General Assemblies as well as the public before it can be amended to the constitution. In the 2010 legislative session, House Republicans look forward to supporting HJR 1 and giving Hoosier voters the opportunity to decide whether permanent property tax caps should be added to the state constitution.
If the constitutional amendment to permanently cap property taxes passes both chambers of the Indiana General Assembly during the 2010 legislative session, Hoosiers will be able to vote on this issue in the November 2010 election.