Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Truth Reports Goshen to Provide Funds for Lobbyist

From the Elkhart Truth:

With the Goshen City Council’s approval, the city of Goshen will provide up to $2,500 towards supporting lobbying services aimed at helping Elkhart County adopt a local option income tax (LOIT) ,

The council voted Tuesday, Jan. 7, to supply the amount of up to $2,500, which is aimed at helping local governments combat circuit breaker losses through property tax caps.

The county’s contract with Barnes and Thornburg in Indianapolis is for $5,000 per month. Mayor Allan Kauffman said the city’s portion was decided in proportion for the relief that it would receive if the LOIT is granted to the county.

The tax has been described by county commissioner Mike Yoder as a “disappearing tax.” What that means is that the additional tax rate will decrease as losses due to tax caps decrease.

The LOIT could add up to an additional one percent for local residents, but would lower as losses decrease.

There were several other choices for local option taxes, but local governments favor this method because “it’s the only one that helps schools and libraries,” Kauffman said.

Several members of the council expressed their displeasure with having to work through a lobbyist, but Kauffman said it’s not possible for local officials to be in Indianapolis frequently trying to convince state legislators.