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Upon Further Reflection, Study Committee Still Advocates Business Tax Rollback

Dave Dugdale

A study committee made up of Indiana governmental and business leaders wants the General Assembly to mandate the elimination of part of the state’s business personal property tax. 

The legislature last session passed bills giving local governments the options of eliminating the business personal property tax for new purchases and exempting small businesses from the levy. 

A study committee on the issue is proposing making the small business exemption mandatory.  Committee chair Brandt Hershman (R-Buck Creek) says small businesses pay so little, eliminating the tax on them would be beneficial to county governments.

“They were literally processing tax returns that cost them more to process than they were receiving in revenue in many cases,” Hershman argues.

Exempting small businesses from the tax would reduce revenues by about $13 million.  And Indiana Association of Cities and Town executive director Matt Greller says while that doesn’t seem like much in a statewide sense, it would impact some local areas more than others.

“It might encourage more small businesses to develop," Greller says.  "It would certainly make it easier on them to stay in business.  So yeah I think we can support it as long as there’s that replacement revenue on the back side.”

Hershman says the legislature might create a flat fee for small businesses to pay, which he says would reduce their compliance costs while mitigating the fiscal impact eliminating the tax would have on local governments. 

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.
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