Mayor Buttigieg sends message to Indy on business personal prope - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Mayor Buttigieg sends message to Indy on business personal property tax


Lowering taxes is usually a popular idea, but some local leaders say a move in Indy to cut one tax in particular could backfire.  

The business personal property tax is a tax on a company's equipment.  Governor Mike Pence said he'd like to phase it out.  A move he said would bring more business to the state, but local municipalities say without the tax they won't have enough money to properly fund their government.

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg says, "It's just not something we can afford."  Buttigieg said without the business personal property tax, the city of South Bend will have a major problem.  "If this were eliminated completely, that could cost us $8 million."

He paints a dire picture.  "Just to put that into perspective: our entire parks budget from property taxes is 7 million [dollars], so you could completely eliminate parks and still have to find another million dollars in cuts."

Buttigieg said there is no way the city could handle losing all that money without lay-offs, including in the Fire and Police Departments.  "We're all for having a smarter tax code and a different system," said the mayor,  "but we have to do it in a way that does not slash local services because we just don't have that much left to give up."

Senator Carlin Yoder (R - District 12) said he understands local governments concerns.  That's why he said he supports the Senate Version of the bill.   He said it's a good compromise because it doesn't completely eliminate the business personal property tax.  It just eliminates it for small businesses.  "Senate Bill 1 approaches it in a different way and just takes a small part of that away," said Yoder, "something the locals can stomach a lot easier than just simply eliminating the personal property tax.  That's something our schools could not have handled and our local governments could not have handled."

Mayor Buttigieg is part of a coalition of local government officials from across the state that wants any money lost through a business tax cut to be replaced.  "The current form does not have the replacement we need," said Buttigieg.

The Indiana Association of Cities and Towns doesn't like the house or the senate bill on business personal property tax.

Senator Yoder said he has good reason for voting "yes" on the Senate side.  "I voted yes because I think it's going to help create even more job growth in the State of Indiana, something we still need to work on, and I think this bill does that without unfairly punishing our local governments by taking funding away from them."


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