Circuit Breaker Bailout Has Critics

Some question whether a circuit breaker bail out bill passed this week will do much to solve the local problem with vacant and abandoned homes.

In fact, some local landlords apparently feel downright let down by a bill passed overwhelmingly in the Indiana Senate on Wednesday.

The bill lumps landlords in with all other commercial property owners in line to see what had been a 2% cap on property taxes, increased to 3%.

According to Edi Mathis with the Real Estate Investors Association of North Central Indiana, “a 2-percent would have made a difference and three percent diminishes that difference enough so that there's discouragement once again.”

Using a rental home owned by South Bend’s Mayor as an example, the home is now taxed at 31-hundred dollars a year.

A 2% circuit breaker would cut that bill in half, to $1,566.00.
At the 3% level, the bill would stand at $2,300.00, which amounts to a savings of just $810.00.

Another example shows the dramatic impact the switch has on large businesses.

Using the example of a South Bend “big box” store,
The retailers currently has a tax bill of $375,000.00.

A 2% circuit breaker would have cut that in half for a $188,000.00 reduction.

At the 3% level, the bill would be $279,000.00 and the savings would dwindle to $95,000.00.

The Senate passed bill now moves on to a Conference Committee.

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