Property Tax Caps To Take Center Stage In 2010 Legislative Session

By Jeff Neumeyer

June 18, 2010 Updated Jan 5, 2010 at 7:19 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, IN (Indiana's NewsCenter) --- Could property tax caps become a permanent fixture in the Hoosier state?

That will undoubtedly be a key issue addressed in this year's session of the Indiana General Assembly.

Lawmakers appear to be keeping an open mind about such caps, even though the state is saddled with the effects of declining tax revenues of all kinds in this sluggish global economy.

The fact it's an election year is also a big factor.

Property tax caps championed by the Governor and Senate Republicans are generally very popular with homeowners, and those voters have a lot of power at the polls.

If both the house and senate pass the property tax caps this session, voters would decide in November whether to place limits on property tax bills right into the state constitution.

State Rep. Win Moses/(D) Fort Wayne: " What I'm hearing more than anything is, people now would like the ability to vote on it. Regardless of how a legislator feels, they want the chance after it's gone on this number of years and this many votes, to be able to say this is my opinion."

State Rep. Randy Borror/(R) 84th District: " If I learned anything in the last eight years, it's to provide certainty to property taxpayers throughout the state of Indiana, and that's what we're trying to do with the caps."

If the caps become part of the constitution, it would be hard to take them back.

It would require legislative approvals in successive sessions and another vote of the people to remove them from the constitution, so the outcome is very important.

Local governments stand to see the biggest impacts from the caps.

That's why State Rep. Phil Giaquinta of Fort Wayne is hesitant to support putting the caps in the constitution, but don’t be surprised if making sure the voters get their say trumps all other considerations.

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