But there may some momentum now for support. Several Midwestern states, including Michigan, Ohio, and Illinois have eliminated their personal property tax. Indiana Chamber president Kevin Brinegar said that puts Indiana at competitive disadvantage for luring new business into the state. “It’s a remaining black mark on our tax climate. An area where we simply can’t compete,” Brinegar said.
So far, there’s no proposal to replace the lost revenues to local governments if the business personal property tax was to be repealed.
Berger doesn’t think there will be. “They just want to be able to say that they have another big tax cut,” Berger said of the legislative leaders pushing for the measure.
Long said fiscal leaders in the legislature are aware of the impact on local governments if the personal property tax is eliminated. He said they’d be “very sensitive” to those concerns. “Particularly the small towns that are dependent on a few large taxpayers. We’ve got to be very careful that we don’t destroy their tax base,” Long said.
Senate Minority Leader Tim Lanane of Anderson said it was critical to consider the impact on local governments. “We’re going to have to come up with replacement revenue,” Lanane said. “To me it’s irresponsible to just say we’re going to abolish another revenue stream without looking at the impact on local government services.”
The General Assembly is scheduled to open its 2014 session on Jan. 7. Tuesday, legislators meet for their Organization Day and may begin filing bills for the 2014 session.
Maureen Hayden covers the Statehouse for the CNHI newspapers in Indiana. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org