Monday, February 09, 2009
Property Tax Cap Amendment Clears Senate
A constitutional amendment making permanent the tax caps Governor Mitch Daniels and the legislature delivered to us last year passed a big hurdle today. For the second time, the Indiana Senate overwhelmingly approved SJR-1 on a 34-16 vote, with only Democrats opposing the amendment. If the resolution passes the House, it will go before voters next year for approval. Its passage is critical. The state sales tax was permanently increased to pay for these property tax caps. On numerous occasions in the past, taxpayers have agreed to pay higher taxes elsewhere for the promise of property tax reductions. Over time, property taxes creep back up as lawmakers pass new laws and mandates and the promised tax relief disappears. Permanent enactment of property tax caps in our state's constitution is the only way we can avoid repeating this problem. The amendment's fate in the House seems less than certain. House Speaker Pat Bauer typically does the bidding for the Indiana State Teachers Association and other public employee unions, which abhor any law making it difficult to raise taxes to pay for higher salaries and more generous pensions.