Local officials are warning of dire consequences should a proposal to eliminate the business personal property tax -- a tax on business equipment -- pass the Indiana General Assembly in the coming months.
A recent report by the bi-partisan Legislative Services Agency estimates a total loss to St. Joseph County of about $31.6 million in 2015 if the tax, which generates about $1.1 billion annually for local taxing units, suddenly goes away.
Among the biggest losers would be the cities of South Bend and Mishawaka.
South Bend would lose about $8.5 million, or about 8.4 percent of the city's total budget, the report states. Mishawaka would lose about $2.7 million, or about 6.3 percent of the city's total budget.
St. Joseph County also would take a hit, though, as would the three largest school corporations -- South Bend, Mishawaka and Penn-Harris-Madison -- and the two largest public library systems -- the St. Joseph County Public Library and the Mishawaka-Penn-Harris Public Library -- as well as Transpo.
The county would lose about $2.7 million; South Bend, Mishawaka and P-H-M schools would lose a combined $2.3 million; the two library systems would lose a combined $986,000; and Transpo would lose $437,000, according to the estimates.