Purdue University Professor of Agriculture Economics Larry DeBoer shed some light on the proposed personal property tax elimination bills that are currently in the Indiana House and Senate Friday during the On Local Government program, a part of Purdue Extension. Participants could view the program from their home computer or had the opportunity to listen with others at the Daviess County Security Center.
Cindy Barber, with Daviess County Purdue Extension, said the overall response to the event was very good. “We get a list of everyone that signed up and it looks like we’ve had a really good response,” said Barber, looking at the list of participants.
The two bills were the brainchild of Governor Mike Pence and if passed would shift the taxes that are now placed on business equipment to property owners. If the loss in revenue is not passed onto property owners, local governments would have to further reduce their budgets and services.
The potential loss of additional revenue has rallied mayors, schools and other officials from around the state to take action and pass resolutions against the move that collectively would result in a revenue losses totaling $687 million.
DeBoer said that Article 10 Section 1 of the Indiana Constitution has come a long way since 1851 when everything, including the furniture in your home was taxed.
In 1966, Article 10 was amended to eliminate intangibles such as stocks and bonds as well as household property and motor vehicles. The article was amended again in 2004 to eliminate inventories but DeBoer said he still wasn’t expecting the business personal property tax to possibly be eliminated so soon.
With the exception of Illinois, all of Indiana’s neighboring states also have personal property taxes but Indiana has the highest percentage of personal property assessed value with 13.7 percent.
Wisconsin has the lowest rate for the region. Michigan is currently phasing out its personal property tax by 2024 and Ohio only charges taxes on utility equipment.