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Saunders Votes for Property Tax Relief
January 30, 2008 - The Indiana House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a property tax relief bill by a vote of 93-1 last week.
According to a press release issued by the office of Rep. Tom Saunders (R-Dist. 54), House Bill 1001 contains about $700 million in new property tax relief, plus $250 million and $300 million in already-scheduled relief for 2008 and 2009, respectively. The immediate relief, Saunders' press release says, should cut most homestead property tax bills by about one-third.
Saunders reports that HB 1001 removes school operating and transportation funding and child welfare funding from local property taxes. Under the legislation, which now goes to the Indiana Senate for consideration, this financial burden would be shifted to the state.
"Although I am mindful of the fact that this process has just begun, I am excited that permanent property tax relief has taken this important step forward," Saunders said in the press release. "It is my top priority to protect homeowners this session, and the passage of this bill means that Hoosiers will finally receive the relief they deserve. I have some concerns that we are treating residential, rental and commercial properties differently, but the ultimate result of this bill will be lower property tax bills for our communities."
Saunders' press release says several parts of the bill he had supported, such as a state spending cap and a strong referendum process, were eliminated or altered in the final version. The passed legislation did, however, include several elements Saunders favors, such as immediate property tax relief, caps on property taxation and public referenda on school projects not directly related to classroom learning, such as athletic fields. HB 1001 also includes an amendment Saunders proposed that will keep the county assessor an elected position.
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