Debate Over Property Tax Caps Continues

Last week marked the official start of the 2010 legislative session of the Indiana General Assembly. Tuesday was “Organization Day,” the official start of the legislature. While mostly a ceremonial day, legislators wasted no time staking positions on several priority issues – one of which are the caps on property taxes.

The property tax caps began to phase in this year and move to their full amount next year at 1% of assessed value for residential property, 2% for rental property, and 3% for businesses. The intent though is to make those changes permanent. To do so requires an amendment to the Indiana Constitution. That requires passage by two separately elected legislatures and then passage on a referendum vote by the citizens of Indiana. The legislature had the chance last session to pass the caps for a second time but House Democrats refused to allow a vote citing concerns about what the caps impact would be on the budgets for local government. The legislature must pass the caps again this session or the measure dies and must start all over again.

While last week marked the official start of the session, legislators typically do not start meeting until the first week in January. However, with several key issues facing them in a short session that is scheduled to end in March, leaders have called for meetings to begin in December.

The debate over property tax caps will certainly be front and center. However, it will also lead to many related issues as well. The impact on the budgets for local government will again be an issues connected to this debate – along with a continued discussion about local government reform and consolidation. And there are discussions about limiting assessments.

The legislative session is sure to be address these and many other key issues important to the real estate industry and your REALTOR® association plan to be engaged from start to finish. So stay tuned for updates as the session begins.
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