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Lawmakers begin debating property tax relief, though help unlikely to come for this year's bills

A state government building in downtown Indianapolis is in the background, behind a row of housing. A sign across the top of the government building reads "A State that Works."
Lauren Chapman
IPB News
Over the last decade, the statewide average home value increase was less than 5 percent a year. This year, it looks to be about 16 percent.

Indiana lawmakers are exploring ways to help Hoosiers dealing with big increases in property taxes. But the legislation discussed in a House committee Thursday won’t affect this year’s tax bills at all.

Home values are skyrocketing. Over the last decade, the statewide average increase was less than 5 percent a year. This year, it looks to be about 16 percent.

Property taxes are currently capped for homeowners at one percent of their assessed value. Rep. Jeff Thompson’s (R-Lizton) bill, HB 1499, would lower that to 0.9 percent in 2024, 0.925 percent in 2025, 0.95 percent in 2026 and 0.975 percent in 2027.

It also creates an additional homestead tax credit – $100 in 2024, going down by $25 a year after that.

But Thompson acknowledged none of that would help people with the tax bills they’ll pay this year.

“We’re too close and that water’s under the bridge,” Thompson said.

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While homeowners would be helped, local governments and schools would take a big hit – a loss of more than $350 million in 2024 alone. Thompson suggested it's not a decrease in revenue, it's just less of an increase.

He pointed out that many local governments will see double the typical increase in revenue this year, making the reduced revenue next year less painful.

But local government leaders said governments are under significant pressure from inflation. The increased revenue from this year's property taxes is helping balance out the increased costs they face.

“This would be a great curveball in '24, '25 and '26 that would be difficult for a city that’s not in a super-growth pattern yet to overcome,” said Muncie Mayor Dan Ridenour.

Thompson said he’ll continue working on potential solutions this legislative session.

Brandon is our Statehouse bureau chief. Contact him at or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Brandon Smith has covered the Statehouse for Indiana Public Broadcasting for more than a decade, spanning three governors and a dozen legislative sessions. He's also the host of Indiana Week in Review, a weekly political and policy discussion program seen and heard across the state. He previously worked at KBIA in Columbia, Missouri and WSPY in Plano, Illinois. His first job in radio was in another state capitol - Jefferson City, Missouri - as a reporter for three stations around the Show-Me State.