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Legislators differ on impact of business property tax cut
Monday, February 24, 2014 10:00 AM
ADDRESSING THEIR CONSTITUENTS: Republican Sen. Jim Smith, from right, Republican Rep. Jim Lucas and Democrat Rep. Terry Goodin offered their impressions of the work of this year’s General Assembly during a Third House discussion at Ivy Tech Community College on Saturday. (Staff photo by Ken Ritchieemail@example.com)
Residents attending the first Third House legislative forum of 2014 expressed concerns about the proposed elimination of the business personal property tax.
Gov. Mike Pence proposed the cut prior to the current legislative session. The Legislative Services Agency issued a report earlier this year indicating cities, counties, schools, libraries and other governmental units get $1.1 billion from the business personal property tax.
Reps. Terry Goodin and Jim Lucas were in attendance, as was Sen. Jim Smith. Legislators had different interpretations of how revoking the tax would impact local government.
Smith said that a cut would result in about a $5,000 reduction in money coming to the county. Goodin, who represents Madison and Hanover, said the number he had heard was closer to $1 million.
Goodin sits on the state Ways and Means committee, which is tasked with making recommendations on the state's fiscal decisions. He said the legislation will be heading to a summer study committee to determine exactly how to make up the budgetary shortfall.
"They couldn't figure out a way to pay for it," Goodin said.
Both men said different bills were introduced into each chamber. The Senate Bill, for example, would allow businesses to be exempt if they had to pay less than $25,000 in taxes. The House bill would create an exemption for any new businesses.
By sending the legislation to a summer committee, the legislation will not be voted on during this session.
The next Third House forum will be held in late March after the General Assembly concludes business for the year. Legislators will provide a session wrap-up at that meeting.
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