Tuesday, February 05, 2008


It was a short week at the Statehouse. The Senate finished their third reading calendar on Tuesday and the House followed suit on Wednesday. They are officially at the half way point of this legislative session. At this time, bills that remain alive will switch houses and committee hearings will start over again.

While the 2008 session began with 470 bills , the list is now down to 160 bills that are still eligible to move through the legislative process. HB 1001, the Governor's property tax reform bill, is among these bills and remain a top priority. Last week, HB 1001 passed the House by a 93-1 vote and is scheduled to be heard before the Tax & Fiscal Policy Committee, chaired by Senator Luke Kenley, on Tuesday, February 5.

The impact of HB 1001 is significant.

One of the major concerns with this bill is the spending and growth control limitations that set these limitations for all units within a county based on a county's six year average of personal income; this will create both winning and losing counties. For those counties with no or little personal growth, there will be limited potential for future growth.

In addition, all political subdivisions' budgets will be capped based on these calculations. Revenues including spending caps are property taxes, local income taxes, motor vehicle excise taxes, the wheel tax, inkeepers taxes, food and beverage taxes and county admission taxes. Revenues affected could also potentially include riverboat revenues, landfill revenues and fee revenues (excluding certain utility fee revenues). To spend beyond the spending cap limit under this bill, a unit (city government) must get the approval from a referendum. All fund balances from these revenues not used in one year must be saved until the following year to go toward property tax relief!

February 5, 2008
Tax & Fiscal Policy
9:00 a.m., Rm. 431
HB 1001 (Property tax relief)

Changes made on HB 1001 ~ Property tax relief

* It changes the 100% deduction for inventory into an exemption

* Imposes additional spending and property tax levy limits on political subdivisions, eliminates excessive levy appeals and requires spending and levies in excess of the tax and spending limits to be approved in a referendum.

Freedom Of Speech would like to say:

The size of taxation in what ever form - depends completely on the amount of government spending. At the end of the day, if Indiana voters believe taxes are too high, it follows that our government is too large.