It seems like every day we get a call from an Indiana City, Town, or County entity concerned about budgets and the impact of the circuit breaker tax caps applied by Indiana House Bill 1001 in March.
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Some newspaper articles on this subject just today:
County council hosts meeting tonight to address property tax bill
The Wayne County Council hosts a meeting at 6 p.m. today to provide information on House Bill 1001, the bill that puts caps on assessed values for homes, rental properties and businesses for property tax purposes.
David Bottorff, executive director of the Association of Indiana Counties, is the speaker.
The meeting is not open to the public but is open to any member of Wayne County town councils, city councils, and library, township, school and sanitation boards.
The meeting is in Council Chambers at the County Administration Building, 400 E. Main St., Richmond.
For more information, call the county council office at (765) 973-9200.
Officials say they must work together to make budgets work
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
House Bill 1001 caps residential property taxes at 1.5 percent in 2009 and 1 percent in 2010. It caps rental property taxes at 2.5 percent in 2009 and 2 percent in 2010. It caps farmland and business property taxes at 3.5 percent in 2009 and 3 percent in 2010, he noted.
It’s imperative that the taxing units work together due to these cuts, Sichting explained. When one district has a tax increase it will affect all of the taxing districts in the county.
For example, if a new library is built in the eastern part of the county it would impact negatively all of the taxing districts in the county, Sichting explained.
“It’s very important that all the taxing districts communicate,” he stressed. “We wanted to start the dialogue … whether we like it or not we can’t operate in isolation (with our budgets). We can’t do that anymore.”
So local officials have agreed to share pertinent information with one another, he added.
“Obviously not all the effects of House Bill 1001 are known at this time,” Sichting explained. “It’s (bill) an 850 page document. Not all the effects of it have been determined yet. As those determinations are made we have agreed to share information.”
The sharing of information is a good first step, he noted.
“(In the past) we operated in isolation, but now with circuit breaker there’s only so much revenue available and that’s why it’s important that we work together and share information,” Sichting added.
Linton Mayor Tom Jones — who also attended the recent meeting — agrees that working together is imperative.
“The whole consensus here is we have to come together as a county,” Jones said. “Now we really need to come together and work together as a unit. We will still have our own niches, communities and our own things we have to do. But we’ll have to get smarter as to how we buy things. Maybe we’ll buy as a group.”
The cuts will have adverse effects on local government’s cash balances and services, Jones noted.
“We should have been doing this (working together) all along,” he explained. “We just need to tighten our belts. But I don’t think people will be satisfied with the services they receive.”
Utilities will not be adversely affected, but the fire, police, street, park and cemetery departments will feel the crunch.
Those services will be cut by 5 to 10 percent, he noted. You’ll see less blacktopping and signs being replaced, among other things.
“We (city of Linton) are going to attempt to not lay off,” he explained.
With all the upcoming cuts and changes, Jones remains optimistic.
“I’m optimistic about what will happen. I think we’re in a prime position … Greene County as a whole has had opportunities that we’ve not had in five or six years … things are starting to come together. We may be prime for small investments or larger investments.” Jones said.
He also believes House Bill 1001 may soon be tweaked.
“I think the new legislature that comes in will tweak this bill a little bit. There’s still a lot of unanswered questions,” Jones added.
Auditor Dave Bailey, who serves as the secretary to the Greene County Council, noted that those local officials in attendance during Monday’s meeting discussed the effects of House Bill 1001 and how to work together in the future.
“No legal action was taken. It was all discussion,” Bailey added.
Those in attendance also included Jasonville Mayor Roy Terrell, Eastern Greene Superintendent Ty Mungle, Linton-Stockton Superintendent Ron Bush, Shakamak Superintendent C.G. Epple, and White River Valley Superintendent Layton Wall.