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Agencies Push Back Against Business Property Tax Repeal Proposal

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Rebecca Green/WBOI News
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A proposal from 4th District city councilman Jason Arp seeking to eliminate the tax on business property was met with an overwhelmingly negative public comment Tuesday night.

The measure, which would roll back and eventually eliminate the tax, is projected to save businesses $55 million… which could come at the expense of local agencies. Funds from the tax are redirected to school districts, law enforcement, fire safety and libraries.

Like a similar 2016 proposal to repeal the tax, Arp’s second attempt does not offer a solution for any losses of funding within those groups.

Fort Wayne Community Schools board president Julie Hollingsworth says if the tax is repealed, the unfilled cost burden for the district would be significant.

“We currently lose about $6.5 million due to tax caps, or about 12 percent of what we could raise with our non-debt funds. With that additional loss of $11 million, that number will jump to a 32 percent loss.”

Council did not say when a vote will be taken.