[r88] House Republicans: Cut Now. Cap Forever. (1/10/2008)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Start Date: 1/10/2008 All Day
End Date: 1/10/2008

STATEHOUSE (Jan. 10, 2008) - Indiana House Republicans have a simple plan for the 2008 session: Solve the property tax crisis. These standards for success lead to that solution.

"The General Assembly has a duty to make this property tax crisis the last one Hoosier homeowners have to face," said House Republican Leader Brian C. Bosma (R-Indianapolis). "House Republicans are committed to immediate relief for taxpayers and permanent reform of the property tax system, leading to and including the permanent elimination of homestead property tax in Indiana.

"There are three top issues for this session of the General Assembly: Property taxes, property taxes and property taxes. The people of Indiana are looking to their legislators to end this nightmare, and House Republicans pledge to push bold, immediate and permanent property tax reform this session."

Hoosiers across the state have been hammered by increased property taxes on their homes, and their incomes have not kept pace with the higher bills. Also draining their pocketbooks is government spending, some of it seemingly unchecked.

Relief, in the form of rebate checks, has come long after the bills were paid, and, in many instances, it hasn't arrived yet.

For years, Indiana has struggled with its new market-based assessment system, the result of a long court challenge to the previous system. Hoosier taxpayers have become increasingly frustrated with the process and the varied results they have seen so far, and they have let legislators know.

In public hearings, letters to the editor and through legislative surveys, people have made it clear that they do not believe the system is working in their best interests.

And if it is not working in the best interests of taxpayers, it is not working in the best interests of Indiana.

Gov. Mitch Daniels has proposed an innovative plan to restructure the property tax system, and it has impressed House Republicans. Daniels' plan is well-represented in the 2008 standards for success.

Here are the House Republicans' standards for success in 2008:

  - Immediate property tax cut by May 2008.

  - Strong state and local spending caps.

  - Permanent 1 percent of assessed valuation homestead cap.

  - Remove schools and welfare from property tax.

  - Make caps and levy removals permanent.

  - Referenda for local construction and budget increases.

  - School construction projects built on local option income tax.

  - Fund all cuts with sales tax alone.

  - Single assessment official in each county.

  - Permanent elimination of homestead property tax.

"House Republicans have one overwhelming goal in mind, and that is to permanently solve this state's property tax problem," Rep. Bosma said. "Other issues will demand our attention during the session, to be sure, but, in the end, everything shrinks in the face of our property tax crisis. Hoosiers want and expect a solution, and the Indiana House Republicans believe they deserve one by March 14."