Hoosier Tax Credit Could Cut Government Services

By: Kari Huston
By: Kari Huston

It's a more for less society, but Hoosiers can't expect more services from their county and city governments when property owners will likely soon be paying less in taxes.

“They want their alleys paved. They want their trash picked up more. They want police to come quicker and do more them and so all of those things cost money,” exclaims Elkhart Mayor Dave Miller.

Elkhart County stands to lose $2.6 million dollars when the so-called Circuit Breaker Legislation goes into effect. Tonight city and county departments met to devise a plan to take to the statehouse. The Circuit Breaker Tax Credit guarantees that no person will pay property taxes higher than two percent of their gross assessed valuation, but Indiana lawmakers haven't given local governments any way to make up for that lost revenue. “In other states where they've done this, there's been some mechanism whether it be some type of income tax or sales tax to have a source to replace what would not be there from a property tax,” Todd Samuelson of the Umbaugh financial advisory company explains.

Schools, libraries, fire and police departments are some of the agencies that won't be able to offer pay raises, and Mayor Miller says they may have a hard time providing health insurance.

There could come a time when counties depleted of people or resources won't be able to respond fast enough to the fire or crime happening at your house.

In a few weeks, Elkhart hopes to have formed a task force to propose solutions for state lawmakers. We’ll let you know what they come up with.

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