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Tax credit could disappear amidst push for more public safety money

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INDIANAPOLIS – A 10-member study commission has been created to decide if eliminating the homestead tax credit is a necessary next step.

Supporters, including Mayor Greg Ballard, claim while homeowners would have to pay more, it would free up millions of dollars that could go toward public safety.

‪”He said $20 more a year. That’s $20 less than I have to spend on things I need, and I think that’s true. It does hit people in a real way‬,” said Jack Sandlin, an Indianapolis City-County councilor who is also a member of the study commission.

The change would affect about 70 percent of Marion County homeowners. Some would pay only a few dollars more each year while others would have to shell out nearly $100.

‪”In the era of property tax caps, when people don’t need that protection anymore, we need those income tax dollars,” said Marc Lotter, a spokesman for Mayor Ballard’s office.

The change could save about $9 million next year.‬

‪”We are dealing with a true financial crisis in Indianapolis‬,” said Sandlin, who admits he wants to see more money put into public safety.

If the study commission decides to get rid of the tax credit, area school corporations, libraries, IndyGo, the Marion County Public Health Department and other agencies and departments would lose thousands of dollars.

This is the breakdown:

  • Townships: $37,838
  • Towns: $18,436
  • School Corporations: $3,903,580
  • Libraries: $416,667
  • IndyGo: $304,348
  • Health and Hospital: $627,426

‪”There are some questions from school corporations, ‘Wow, this is going to hurt us‬,'” said ‪Jim Steele, co-chairman of the Homestead Credit Review Commission.‬

Public hearings are scheduled this week:

  • Tuesday, June 4, 2013 (6:00 p.m.) Fay Biccard Glick Neighborhood Center, 2990 W. 71st Street
  • Wednesday, June 5, 2013 (6:00 p.m.)  Warren MSD Education and Community Center, 975 N. Post Rd.

On June 24, the committee will present its findings and recommendations to the Indianapolis City-County Council for review.

To check to see the impact on your 2013 property tax bill if the credit had been eliminated, homeowners can go to this web page.