Indiana Legislature considers bill to restore Habitat for Humanity's tax exemption

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INDIANAPOLIS (WNDU) - It's a first for Habitat for Humanity and, hopefully, a last. Some Indiana chapters were surprised to find that they lost their property tax exemption.

That applies to the 12 to 18 months it typically takes to develop a home and put it in the hands of a taxpaying private owner. A bill is being considered in the Legislature to restore Habitat's exemption.

"This is a very small budgetary impact for the state of Indiana and, for us, it's a very big deal," Habitat for Humanity's Jeane Leckron said. "As a small Christian housing ministry, each of our affiliates are autonomous – they raise their own money in their own communities. And so, this would be a tremendous help for us if we could correct what I think is maybe an oversight."

The bill to restore Habitat's property tax exemption in Indiana unanimously passed through a Senate committee Tuesday and now heads to the full Senate floor.

The bill would also ensure that Elkhart's Health, Fitness, Aquatics and Community Center is exempt from property taxes. Questions about its tax status were raised due to the joint ownership of the building.