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Saunders Unhappy With Legislature's Property Tax Reform, Budget Efforts
May 2, 2008 - Recently, Representative Tom Saunders (R-Lewisville) and the Indiana General Assembly completed the 2007 legislative session. The House and Senate sent two major initiatives to the governor, including property tax reform package and the state budget.
Saunders believes the most immediately crucial reform included the property tax reform package. He said legislators have studied the upcoming property tax cycle and discovered that trending values, reduced replacement credits, increased local property investment, and the final stage of the inventory tax elimination will combine to negatively affect Hoosier property owners this year.
"Property taxes are out of control," Saunders said in a press release. "Taxes are expected to increase by 24 percent this year. To solve this, the state has created an unnecessarily complicated program to collect the full property tax now and then provide a refund in November.
“The rebate program is a flawed public policy. If we are going to give relief, it should be immediate. It does not make sense for taxpayers to give money to the state if they are just going to receive it back in six months. This budget hurts those who are struggling to make ends meet and do not have enough money to cover a 24-percent increase in their property taxes."
The Indiana General Assembly was obligated to pass a biennial state budget, House Bill 1001, during this session. Saunders encouraged an honestly balanced budget with no tax increases.
The Horse Track Gaming Bill allows Indiana's two horse tracks to install over 2,000 slot machines at the facility. While the bill does create a statewide crackdown on "Cherry Master" machines located in bars and gas stations, Saunders said he could not support this measure because of the gambling expansion.
"The Slots at the track bill blows the lid off of gambling again, the biggest expansion in gambling since 1993 when the Hoosier Lottery was conceived," stated Saunders
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