STATEHOUSE (Jan. 12, 2010) -- Hoosiers are on the verge of getting the opportunity to vote this fall on permanently capping property taxes after Senate GOP leaders today successfully fended off Democrat objections to a proposed constitutional amendment.
By a vote of 35 to 15, the full Senate gave final passage to Senate Joint Resolution1 that would constitutionally cap property tax rates at 1 percent for owner-occupied homes, 2 percent for other residential and agricultural properties and 3 percent for businesses.
Earlier in the day, a Senate committee passed a House-passed version of the same crucial language by a vote of 8 to 2 and sent it onto the full Senate for consideration as well.
Today's passage of SJR 1 by the full Senate almost guarantees Senate passage of House Joint Resolution 1, which cleared the full House of Representatives on Monday by a vote of 75 to 23.
Final passage of this bill sets the stage to add the 1-2-3 caps to Indiana's Constitution. In order to change the Constitution, an amendment must be passed by two separately-elected General Assemblies and then be approved by voters statewide.
In the immediate aftermath of the 2007 property tax crisis, both chambers passed the property tax caps amendment in 2008. The Republican-led Senate kept momentum for the amendment by passing it again in 2009, but it did not receive a hearing in the Democrat-controlled House.
"I'm pleased to see a bipartisan coalition of support forming around this pro-taxpayer, limited-government amendment," said Sen. Luke Kenley (R-Noblesville), author of SJR 1 and chair of the Senate Committee on Appropriations. "Clearly, taxpayers are asking for a modernization of our tax system."
"We must not forget that many Hoosiers suffered from terrible, life-changing decisions as a result of Indiana's most recent property tax crisis," said Sen. Brandt Hershman (R-Wheatfield), co-author of SJR 1 and chair of the Senate Committee on Tax and Fiscal Policy. "For too many - especially seniors on fixed incomes and young homeowners on limited incomes - Indiana's antiquated property tax system served as an unfair, outdated gauge of their wealth and their ability to pay ever-escalating taxes."
Senate President Pro Tem David Long (R-Fort Wayne) said, "Today's Senate action proves we are siding with taxpayers and not tax spenders; we are keeping the promise of permanent property tax relief and reform. Because lawmakers successfully passed the amendment through both chambers, Hoosier voters will have the final say on Nov. 2."
Audio Clip Senator Kenley
Audio Clip Senator Hershman
Audio Clip Senator Long
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