Personal property tax cut heads to full House

The Indiana House’s version of a bill to cut business personal property taxes statewide passed the Ways and Means Committee on Thursday.

House Bill 1001, authored by Rep. Eric Turner, R-Cicero, would allow county income tax councils to exempt businesses from paying the business personal property tax on any new equipment they purchased. Businesses would not be required to file an application to be eligible for the exemption.

Gov. Mike Pence asked members of the House and Senate during his State of the State address last week to pass legislation that would phase out the business personal property tax.

The Senate introduced its version Tuesday.

Senate Bill 1 would reduce the corporate income tax rate from 6.5 percent to 4.9 percent by 2019, and eliminate the personal property taxes for businesses owning $25,000 or less in personal property.

The bill passed the Senate Tax and Fiscal Policy Committee, 7-2.

Chris Atkins, director of the Office of Management and Budget, said Pence supports the Senate’s bill.

Two amendments were proposed for HB 1001, but neither passed.

Rep. Greg Porter, D-Indianapolis, proposed an amendment to create a commission to analyze the potential effects of the bill before passing it.

“It will create jobs, but how many jobs? It creates better wages, well what type of wages?” Porter said. “And so what this amendment does is basically actually try to ensure that the specific job information will be obtained.”

The amendment was defeated 14-7.

Rep. Mike Karickhoff, R-Kokomo, proposed an amendment to offset the cost of revenue lost by eliminating the business personal property tax. His amendment would allow counties that institute the property tax exemption to use a levy freeze or property tax relief rate to replace a portion of the lost revenue.

Karickhoff said Howard County, which he represents, relies heavily on the business personal property tax rate for funds. If the county approved the tax exemption, Karickhoff said HB 1001 does not provide a way for the county to regenerate that money.

Committee Chairman Tim Brown, R-Crawfordsville, did not allow the committee to vote on Karickhoff’s amendment.

The committee heard testimony on the bill earlier this month.

The bill passed out of the committee 13-8 and now moves to the full House.

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