[r59] Rep. Smith moves to improve property tax system (1/23/2008)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Start Date: 1/23/2008 All Day
End Date: 1/23/2008

(STATEHOUSE) Jan. 22, 2008 - Tonight, Rep. Milo Smith (R-Columbus) successfully amended House Bill 1001 to include three vital provisions which bolster the governor's tax plan. Rep. Smith's amendments to HB 1001 include simplifying the homestead credit filing process, creating a unified assessment system and updating language to close loopholes, preventing assessors from ignoring rules.

"The governor put forth a bold plan and challenged the Legislature to build upon the framework," Rep. Smith said. "My amendments, which passed with bipartisan support, answer that challenge and ensure more equitable assessments for all property owners."

The amended HB 1001 will ensure homestead credits follow the taxpayer as was originally intended. The homestead credit will be filed automatically upon the purchase of a home. An automatic filing relieves the homeowner from filing separate records to qualify for their homestead credit.

To guarantee taxpayers receive every advantage HB 1001 has to offer, established guidelines must be followed. Previous administrative language allowed too many variances to seep into the assessment process. This amendment tightens existing regulations, ensuring the legitimacy of the assessment process and its rules.

Giving assessors powerful, parallel tools to perform their jobs is essential. Rep. Smith's third amendment requires all assessments to be completed in the same format. The state will provide funding for the initial start-up costs of the system, the department of local government finance will determine the requirements.

House Bill 1001 will be eligible for full passage by the House of Representatives on Thursday. If the bill passes the House, it will then move to the Senate for consideration.

Rep. Smith encourages constituents to contact him with questions or concerns through e-mail at h59@in.gov, by calling toll-free at 1-800-382-9841, or by writing him at 200 W. Washington St., Indianapolis, IN 46204.