STATEHOUSE- Representative Matt Lehman (R-Berne) released the following statement today in response to the passage of House Joint Resolution (HJR) 1, the constitutional amendment to permanent cap homeowner's property taxes. The measure passed the House by a vote of 75 to 23.
"My vote today was not an easy one to cast. While I am pleased to take part in the passage of a law that will bring stable and predictable taxation back to a majority of Hoosier property owners, I feel we still need to address aspects of the assessment process.
"While HJR1 is not perfect, it does establish a benchmark that will affect all taxing districts and hopefully bring about better cooperation within those districts on how services are provided. I have heard from many constituents on both sides of this issue, but overwhelmingly, they want the chance to vote their minds in November. Today, I voted to support that opportunity."
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.