Voice of the People
In 2006, the Indiana legislature in an attempt to stop the increasing rate
of property taxes, passed a limit on the amount local property owners could
be forced to pay in property taxes. Under this cap, no property owner will
pay more than 2 percent of the value of the property.
This was a good piece of legislation in forcing local governments to live
within their means.
Fast forward to the year 2007 and this past session of the Indiana
legislature. Our local representatives and senators had an opportunity to
reaffirm their commitment to protect the local taxpayer, but they blew it.
They caved in to the lobbyists and refused to govern within their means.
One of the exceptions they made was to exempt the local schools’ general fund
from the 2 percent cap. At least half, if not more, of all property taxes go
to support local schools. If you take the schools’ general fund portion of
the property tax bill out from under the 2 percent cap, property taxes can
skyrocket. They also made other exceptions on the 2 percent cap.
Another loophole they put in the 2 percent cap is to allow local taxing units
who feel they do not have enough money to operate to appeal to go outside the
2 percent cap. They created a board for these appeals to go to and many of
the people appointed to the board are from groups that do not agree with the
2 percent limit.
For example, a representative of the Indiana Association of Counties and the
Indiana Association of School Superintendents will be on that board.
If the legislature is serious about protecting property owners in reducing
property taxes, they will maintain or lower the 2 percent cap.
Porter County Commissioner