(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. The bill 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.
"The property tax relief bill is, for the most, a positive bill for taxpayers," said Rep. Bob Cherry (R-Greenfield). "There is too much spending in here and that will have to be worked out as we continue to move through the process. The taxpayers are going to come out winners this session, not the special interest groups."
It also removes school operating and transportation funding and child welfare funding from local property, shifting the responsibility to the state.
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.