(Lawrenceburg, Ind.) - Election Day has arrived and Hoosiers will have the opportunity to put a new amendment into the state constitution.
The amendment issue will be listed on all ballots across the state. Voters can check “Yes” or “No.”
Already passed twice in the Indiana legislature before going on today’s statewide referendum, the circuit breaker measure seeks to limit property taxes to one percent of assessed value on homes. It would also limit farmland to two percent. Business or industrial property, real property, and personal property would be capped at three percent.
Already in effect as a state law since 2008, making the caps a constitutional amendment would make the process of eliminating them or even making changes far more difficult for future lawmakers.
While the amendment is expected to pass – a recent poll found 60 percent of voters in favor - there are concerns about what it means for state and local governments who could see less tax revenue.
Only 11 percent of Indiana homesteads hit the one-percent cap in 2010 according to the non-partisan Legislative Services Agency. That’s why opponents argue it is misleading for supporters to say it would prevent property owners’ taxes from increasing.
The Indiana Farm Bureau calls the amendment unfair because different caps are designated for various types of property.
The pro-caps Hoosier Property Tax Reform Alliance says having less money will force governments to find creative solutions for providing services.
“The caps are delivering significant tax relief to Hoosiers,” according to the Hoosier Property Tax Reform Alliance. “Since 2008, the caps have delivered $500 million in property tax relief to Hoosiers. With 90 counties reporting, the tax caps will save Hoosiers over $337 million in 2010: homeowners $91 million, renters/landlords $172 million, businesses $74 million.”
The alliance adds that local governments and schools can still seek higher taxes through referendums, if necessary.
If the measure passes, Indiana would join 14 other states with such tax caps in its constitution.