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 Senator Gard Interested in Property Tax Plan

January 16, 2008 - Sen. Beverly Gard (R-Greenfield) says she is “intrigued and interested” by a new plan unveiled at the Statehouse today that would completely and permanently eliminate property taxes on owner-occupied homes statewide.

Two Republican Senators offered their plan as an amendment to Senate Joint Resolution 8 under consideration by the Senate Rules and Legislative Procedure Committee.

The plan requires lawmakers to choose between sales or income taxes as “fairer, more modern ways” to fund schools and local government. Expanding sales taxes on certain services was among several funding options the two lawmakers offered to replace the $2.95 billion needed to eliminate property taxes for homeowners.

“Property tax reform is job one,” said Gard who serves on the committee. “I want a plan to be fair, permanent and substantial. The amendment proposed today is intriguing and I look forward to taking a closer look at this.”

Originally, SJR 8 would have attempted doing away with all property taxes including those on income-producing rental and business properties. Critics had been skeptical of the resolution as originally written, because of massive replacement funding needed to continue operating schools, police and fire services, libraries and other local government units.

Sen. David Long (R-Ft. Wayne), who chairs the committee, said its members asked for additional time to study and discuss the resolution and amendment. Long said he expects the committee to reconvene in the coming days, but wants to “make certain the plan is workable and acceptable before asking colleagues to vote on the proposal.”

SJR 8 is being offered as an amendment to the Indiana Constitution, requiring passage by two separately elected sessions of the Indiana General Assembly and approval by voters.

Sen. Gard represents Senate District 28, which includes portions of Hamilton, Hancock and Henry counties.

 

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