Morgan County has adopted three local income taxes and will use the money to blunt increased taxes on homes and other property.
The County Council voted unanimously Tuesday to adopt the taxes expected to raise nearly $14 million a year beginning in 2008.
Combined, the actions total a countywide income tax of 1.45 percent, with revenues divided among the county, city, towns, schools, libraries and other government agencies.
Morgan County Commissioner Jeff Quyle said the council's actions make Morgan one of the first counties in the state to use property tax reduction tools passed by the last session of the Indiana General Assembly.
He also estimated that added revenues from income taxes will result in a cut of about 30 percent in the property tax rate . . .
Many Morgan County property owners saw increases this year, and assessed values jumped as much as 30 percent or more in some cases.
For example, property owners in Green Township in the northern part of the county, a booming area of home and potential business development, reported tax increases of 38 percent and more Appeals have been filed about the newest tax assessments on approximately 1,000 parcels this year.
However, Morgan hasn't witnessed the taxpayer rallies and outcry this summer like the reactions in neighboring Marion County. And Morgan officials didn't report assessed value increases of up to 90 percent, as in neighboring Hendricks County.
The goal in Morgan Co. was to reduce property taxes to help lure new businesses. The income tax replacement will give it the lowest property taxes in the Indianapolis region, and it's income tax rate will still be 0.2% lower than Marion Co.'s 1.65% rate. Obviously, this will make the county more attractive to Marion Co. residents fleeing high taxes here. I particularly like how the schools are participating in the income tax replacement option. The schools represent about half of the property tax bill.