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Study: Property Tax Caps Save Individuals Millions At The Expense Of Local Governments

Phillip Ingham

Hoosiers are benefiting from property tax caps, but the caps are hurting Indiana localities. That's according to a new study from the Indiana Fiscal Policy Institute.

The non-partisan organization released two new reports Tuesday. One measures the impact of statewide property tax caps on individuals and households and the other surveys their impact on 18 test-case towns and cities.

Institute President John Ketzenberger says they've found that since being implemented seven years ago, the caps have saved Hoosier taxpayers $760 million, but he adds most Indiana localities have suffered from losing that revenue. He says cities like Muncie and Terre Haute have taken a significant hit.

“For industrial cities like Terre Haute, for instance, it’s had a devastating effect on their local revenue from property taxes,” Ketzenberger says. “In Muncie, for instance, it meant that they lost 45-percent of their property tax levy because of the caps.”

Ketzenberger says their reports are not about supporting any political agenda, but rather the best fiscal interests of the state. He says they're simply presenting their findings for the consideration of Hoosiers and state lawmakers.

“The property tax caps study says: okay, here’s what happened. And then the second study says: and here’s the effect it’s had on these communities,” Ketzenberger says. “So how property tax payers respond is completely up to them. The idea is that they have the information now with which they can make good decisions.”

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