Thursday, March 20, 2008


Gov. Mitch Daniels has signed a major property tax relief and restructuring bill into law.

More than 200 people packed the Statehouse Rotunda yesterday to watch Daniels and legislative leaders sign the bill approved by the General Assembly last Friday.

The bill provides additional homestead credits this year and will cap property tax bills in a vast majority of the state. It means property taxes will be capped at 1 percent of assessed value for homeowners, 2 percent for rental and agriculture properties and 3 percent for business properties.

The changes will show up on this year's property tax bills, but the cap phase is gradually between now and 2010. This year, homeowners will see a homestead credit on their bills, which proponents of the measure call "immediate relief." In 2009, caps begin to phase in, stabilizing at the 1, 2 and 3 percent levels on your 2010 bills.

The new law also means your sales tax is going up to 7 percent. The revenue raised from the increase in the sales tax is meant to help pay for expenses the state is picking up:

* School general fund
* Pre - 1977 police and fire pensions
* Child welfare
* Juvenile incarceration

Less property tax revenue coming in to local government means they have less money to spend on services.

The bill also will raise renters deduction from $2,500 to $3,000 and eliminate township assessors across the state, except in townships with more than 15,000 parcels. Voters there will have the option to eliminate the assessor's job with a referendum.

Freedom Of Speech only has 1 question to our legislature and elected officials and it is this. "Where do you think we are getting the money from to pay all these increases? We are quite sure no ones salary has increased at the rate of property tax, sales tax and gasoline price increases.

Where is and when will the relief come - if ever?