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Property tax relief proposal gets complicated in House committee

Indiana Republican Representative Jeff Thompson sits in a committee room, listening to testimony. Thompson is a White man with white hair, wearing glasses and a suit.
Brandon Smith
/
IPB News
Rep. Jeff Thompson (R-Lizton) said his property tax relief bill had a lot of moving parts and could change significantly as the session plays out.

Property tax relief legislation got a lot more complicated Thursday as a House committee tried to soften the blow such relief would have on local government and school budgets.

The original proposal in HB 1499 was simple: create an additional homestead tax credit and reduce the cap on how much homeowners have to pay on their property taxes for a few years.

READ MORE: Lawmakers begin debating property tax relief, though help unlikely to come for this year’s bills

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The latest proposal is anything but simple. That additional homestead tax credit is gone. The reduction in the property tax cap is cut in half. The bill increases the homeowners and renters deductions on Hoosiers’ income taxes by $1,000 each. Local governments have a new option to create their own property tax relief.

“This thing has lots of moving parts," said Rep. Jeff Thompson (R-Lizton), the bill's author. "I consider none of them real, real drastic; some may.”

It’s not yet clear how much the average homeowner would save under the new proposal. And it’s not also not yet clear how much the plan would cost local governments and schools.

The bill next heads to the House floor for further work.

Brandon is our Statehouse bureau chief. Contact him at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

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Brandon Smith has covered the Statehouse for Indiana Public Broadcasting for more than a decade, spanning three governors and a dozen legislative sessions. He's also the host of Indiana Week in Review, a weekly political and policy discussion program seen and heard across the state. He previously worked at KBIA in Columbia, Missouri and WSPY in Plano, Illinois. His first job in radio was in another state capitol - Jefferson City, Missouri - as a reporter for three stations around the Show-Me State.