"The budget should be balanced honestly, with no gimmicks or tax increases", said House Republican leader Brian C. Bosma (R-Indianapolis). SJR 1, passed in the 2008 session, is the vehicle for including permanent property tax caps in the Indiana Constitution. If the General Assembly approves it during the 2009 session, it would then go before Indiana voters. Their approval would ratify it.
"The overriding goal of House Republicans for the next session of the General Assembly is to adopt an honestly balanced budget with no gimmicks or tax increases, to enact permanent constitutional tax caps for every Hoosier taxpayer and allow taxpayers to keep as much of their money as possible," Rep. Bosma said. "With committed Republican leadership, the state's prior record of deficit spending will remain behind us, and the fiscal integrity of the last three years will be continued.
"In addition to an honestly balanced budget, if elected as the majority party, House Republicans will assure that permanent property tax caps for every Hoosier taxpayer will be the first order of business in the Indiana House. If I am selected speaker of the House," Rep. Bosma continued, "SJR 1 will come to the floor for action before any other substantive measure, and it will be acted upon fully, fairly and openly. I commend Gov. Mitch Daniels for his leadership on this critical issue and will work with him to pass SJR 1 immediately in 2009."
Gov. Daniels today announced his plan for keeping more money in Hoosiers' pockets through the constitutional property tax caps included in SJR 1 and an automatic taxpayer refund plan. SJR 1 includes property tax caps of 1 percent of a homestead's assessed value, 2 percent for farmland and 3 percent on business property. Under the automatic taxpayer refund plan, once the state reserves reach a certain level, taxpayers would receive a per-capita credit on their state income tax. This would give the legislature incentive to maintain balanced budgets.
"The governor's automatic taxpayer refund is an innovative proposal designed to curb state spending and to get taxpayer money where it ought to be - back in the hands of the taxpayer," said Rep. Jeff Espich (R-Uniondale), the ranking Republican member on the House Ways and Means Committee. "We look forward to working with the governor to make this proposal a reality. We will continue to maintain fiscal responsibility at the state level and move forward with constitutional property tax caps.
"We must further bolster our state's position as a financial stronghold in the Midwest," Rep. Espich said. "Indiana is heading in a positive direction and will continue so long as governments on all levels across the state continue to work together and put taxpayers first."