Property tax caps discussion panel scheduled – 12/10/2009

Press release from Paula Hughes, Allen County Council Vice-President:

Property tax caps discussion panel scheduled

Paula Hughes, Allen County Council Vice President, will host a Constitutional Property Tax Caps Discussion Panel on Thursday, December 10, at 7:00 PM in Meeting Room AB at the Downtown Allen County Public Library, 900 Library Plaza, Fort Wayne, IN 46802.

Ryan Elijah of Indiana’s News Center will moderate the panel, which will include State Legislators Senate Pro Tempore David Long, Senator Dennis Kruse, and Representatives Randy Borror, Matt Bell, Jeff Espich and Phyllis Pond.

The Property Tax Discussion Panel is open to the public at no charge.

The format of the Discussion Panel will include opening and closing comments by the state legislators and time for audience questions. There will be an even-handed and balanced presentation of property tax caps facts built around the answers to questions submitted by audience members.

The 1% property tax cap on homestead property, 2% cap on other residential property and agricultural property, and 3% cap on other real and personal property were passed by the General Assembly in 2008 and will be fully implemented next year. Senate Joint Resolution 1, which would make the property tax caps a permanent part of the Indiana Constitution where they cannot be changed by the General Assembly or court challenge, passed the State Senate both last year and this year. SJR 1 passed the State House of Representatives last year, and it must pass the House again next year so voters statewide can decide by referendum on November 2, 2010, whether or not the property tax caps are included in the state constitution.

Aaron Smith, Watchdog Indiana Founder, will be present and has organized similar events around the state. Smith says, “Watchdog Indiana has evaluated the available facts and determined that the constitutional property tax caps will be good for Hoosier working families.

However, well-meaning folks have considered the very same facts and want the Indiana House to not pass SJR 1. The primary purpose of the Discussion Panel is to help the residents of Allen County decide for themselves if the constitutional property tax caps are a good thing.” Smith expects that exchanges between the audience and their state legislators will be pertinent and respectful.

County Council Member Hughes believes that “changing our state constitution to include the property tax caps is one of the most important public policy questions the state has considered in many years.” She says, “I am very pleased to host a forum for our state legislators to further educate the public about how the property tax caps will affect them and their local units of government.”

Everyone who attends the Fort Wayne Discussion Panel will be given a handout that includes the legal language in SJR 1, together with a digest explaining the constitutional property tax caps.

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