[r59] Hearings Begin on Permanent Property Tax Caps (12/8/2009)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Start Date: 12/8/2009 All Day
End Date: 12/8/2009
STATEHOUSE-The first official day for the 2010 legislative session is not until Jan. 5, but legislators began work a month early to hear testimony on whether to write property tax caps into the state's Constitution.

During the 2008 legislative session, the General Assembly wrote into law the property tax caps of 1 percent for homeowners, 2 percent for agriculture and rental property and 3 percent for businesses.

"Last month, on Organization Day, my Republican colleagues and I laid out our agenda for this year's session and we made it clear that permanent property tax caps would be our top priority," said Rep. Milo Smith (R-Columbus). "We must give Hoosier taxpayers the opportunity to vote on permanent property tax caps, so they can have the peace of mind in knowing that they'll never pay more than 1, 2 or 3 percent of their assessed value.

"The property tax caps serve as an innovative engine that allows local governments the opportunity to find ways to reduce their spending."

If passed by the General Assembly this session, a property tax cap referendum will be placed on the November 2010 general election ballot for a public vote.

Today's Ways and Means Committee hearing was the first of three pre-session meetings. Due to the 2010 legislative session being a "short" session, legislators want to get a head start on some of the current issues.

The Ways and Means Committee is scheduled to take a vote on several issues next Monday, Dec. 14. Permanent property tax caps will be one of them. If the bill passes through committee, it will then be moved to the House floor to be heard by the one hundred members of the House of Representatives, which convenes starting Jan. 5.

"I became a state representative to help ensure Hoosiers got relief from their property tax bills," Rep. Smith said. "Writing the caps into the state's Constitution will be the final piece of the puzzle."