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Legislators Vowing To Push For Quick Approval Of Property Tax Cap

Last updated on Tuesday, November 18, 2008

(STATEHOUSE) - Legislative republicans are vowing to push for quick approval of a constitutional amendment capping property taxes, and warning the caps could melt away if it doesn’t happen.

Legislators could approve an amendment in 2009 or 2010, and still get it to the voters for the final decision in the 2010 election.

House Speaker Patrick Bauer wants to wait till next year to gather more data on how temporary caps passed this year are affecting local government.

Senate President Pro Tem David Long says those caps, which range from one-percent of a home's value to three-percent of a business's value, may violate the constitutional requirement that property taxes be uniform.

If the constitution isn't amended, he says there's a risk a judge could invalidate the caps.

And House Minority Leader Brian Bosma warns if a judge doesn't break the caps, future legislatures might, to give themselves an escape hatch from tough budget decisions.

Long told an Indiana Chamber luncheon he thinks some local governments are putting off attempts to streamline operations until they know legislators are serious about making the caps permanent.

Legislative leaders in both parties agree Indiana's next budget could be the tightest in decades.

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