[r72] We Missed a Great Opportunity (1/30/2009)

Friday, January 30, 2009

Start Date: 1/30/2009 All Day
End Date: 1/30/2009

STATEHOUSE - A Democrat procedural maneuver today kept Hoosier voters from being assured the opportunity to vote on adding permanent property tax caps to the Indiana Constitution.


Hoosier taxpayers deserve better treatment, said Rep. Ed Clere (R-New Albany).

"Regardless of how they may feel about the property tax caps, voters deserve decisive and consistent action by the legislature," said Rep. Clere.

"The previous legislature made a commitment to voters, but it appears some members here have some memory loss. Most of the Democrats who voted against the caps having a chance today were in favor of them less than a year ago.

"They had a chance to keep faith with taxpayers and continue the process that was started in the 2008 session," Rep. Clere said. "The caps passed 79-20. Where were all those people today?

"This unnecessary delay only creates further uncertainty for taxpayers, the furthest thing from what they truly want and need. We should pass the property tax caps and honor the General Assembly's commitment to taxpayers."

State Rep. Jeff Espich (R-Uniondale) offered an amendment to House Joint Resolution 6, which would amend the constitution to consolidate the offices of state auditor and treasurer. Rep. Espich's amendment would have added the proposed property tax caps to the resolution. 

Democrats claimed the amendment was out of order, citing a House rule that prohibits two similar bills from being considered at the same time. After debate and a party-line vote, the Democrat claim won, and the amendment failed.

The property tax caps would limit bills to 1 percent of the property's assessed value for homesteads, 2 percent for agricultural property and 3 percent for business property.

To become part of the Indiana Constitution, an amendment must be passed by two consecutive separately elected sessions of the General Assembly and by Hoosier voters in the next general election.