In order to assure Hoosiers that efficient legislative work will be completed given the shortened session, committee hearings began on December 7. I am a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, the financial branch of the General Assembly, which has three scheduled hearings this month to get a head start.
In November, I joined my Republican colleagues in announcing our agenda for the 2010 legislative session. In our announcement we made permanent property tax caps our top priority. On Monday, Dec. 7, the House Ways and Means Committee began the process by hearing testimonies from residents, farmers and business owners on making property tax caps permanent.
During the 2008 session, the General Assembly wrote property tax caps into law. These caps are 1 percent for homeowners, 2 percent for agriculture and rental property and 3 percent for business property of their assessed value. If permanent property tax caps are passed through the General Assembly this session the bill will be taken to the 2010 November general election ballot for a public vote.
It is important to give Hoosiers the opportunity to vote on writing permanent property tax caps into the constitution. They will have the reassurance in knowing that they will never again have to pay more than 1, 2 or 3 percent of their properties assessed value.
On Monday, Dec. 14, the House Ways and Means Committee will be taking a vote on several legislative issues; permanent property tax caps will be included in that vote. This vote is important for Hoosiers because if the bill passes through committee then it will be moved straight to the house floor, beginning Jan. 5 when session is scheduled to convene, for a debate.
Hoosiers are always encouraged to get involved with their government and are always welcome at the Statehouse to watch session. They can also follow session by watching online on the Indiana General Assembly website, http://www.in.gov/legislative/session/video.html