State legislators are set to take up a number of key bills today. Among them, the House Ways and Means Committee is slated to hear a Senate proposal involving the business personal property tax.
Governor Mike Pence has pushed the concept of phasing out the business personal property tax as a way of drawing more investment in the state. The House also has a proposal regarding the tax.
Indiana mayors, including Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer, are opposing the idea saying communities rely on that funding to help fund things such as public safety services and to provide tax abatement options for new or expanding businesses.
If lawmakers move forward with the governor’s plan as introduced, the city of Warsaw would lose $2.2 million in revenue, or 11 percent of the General Fund. It is those monies that help fund public services like police and fire operations. Local schools would lose approximately $1.3 million and the city library would have to cut $400,000.
“The biggest issue with the proposal is that there is no replacement plan,” said Thallemer. “What it would do is shift the burden to local workers … that’s the travesty of the whole thing.” (See related PowerPoint)
Warsaw city leaders say the governor’s plan would ultimately mean higher taxes for homeowners and workers already hit hard by rising cost of living expenses.