Monday, February 17, 2014

Pharos-Tribune Reports Cass County Officials React to Potential Loss of Business Personal Property Tax

From the Logansport Pharos-Tribune:

Cass County and Logansport officials’ views vary on the changes to the business personal property tax the Indiana General Assembly is considering.

The state Senate and House of Representatives have devoted part of the current legislative session to Indiana Gov. Mike Pence’s initiative to end the business personal property tax. Pence says doing so will boost jobs and draw businesses to the state that are establishing in other states in the area that already don’t have the tax.

The Senate has drafted a bill to eliminate the tax only for businesses with less than $25,000 worth of equipment. The House wants to give counties the option of exempting taxes on new business equipment. Neither offer a mechanism for replacing the lost revenue, but Pence has expressed a desire to explore a replacement after leaders across the state voiced their opposition to the initiative.

State Sen. Randy Head, R-Logansport, supports the Senate’s proposal, titled Senate Bill 1.

“What we’re trying to do is give a break to small business people,” Head said, adding it will ultimately “leave more money in the hands of people who earned it in the first place.”

There are 35 taxing units in Cass County. According to a report prepared by the state’s Senate Majority Fiscal Office, the county’s expected deduction under the Senate bill is $150,925.

While Head supports the bill, he expressed concerns over the fact that this figure has more than doubled since projections were first released on the matter.

“It’s certainly troubling,” Head said. “You have to wonder if they’re going to change again.”

Head said he recently spoke with Sen. Luke Kenley, an author of the bill, and was told the bill would be changing again before a final vote on the matter.

“Things are in flux,” Head said.

According to the Senate Majority Fiscal Office report, Logansport would lose $53,013 — the most of all the county’s taxing units.