Board of Realtors to host tax caps discussion panel

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

GREENCASTLE -- The Putnam County Board of Realtors will host a Constitutional Property Tax Caps Discussion Panel on Oct. 29 at 7 p.m. in the cafeteria at Tzouanakis Intermediate School, 500 Linwood Drive, Greencastle.

State Sen. Connie Lawson and State Rep. Nancy Michael are the members of the Greencastle Discussion Panel, which is open to the public at no charge.

The format of the Discussion Panel will include opening and closing comments by the state legislators with 45 minutes of audience questions in between. There will be an even-handed and balanced presentation of property tax caps facts built around the answers to questions submitted by audience members.

The 1 percent property tax cap on homestead property, 2 percent cap on other residential property and agricultural property, and 3 percent cap on other real and personal property were passed by the General Assembly in 2008 and will be fully implemented next year. Senate Joint Resolution 1, which would make the property tax caps a permanent part of the Indiana Constitution where they cannot be changed by the General Assembly or court challenge, passed the State Senate both last year and this year.

SJR 1 passed the State House of Representatives last year, and it must pass the House again next year so voters statewide can decide by referendum on Nov. 2, 2010, whether or not the property tax caps are included in the state constitution.

Aaron Smith, Watchdog Indiana Founder, will be the Discussion Panel moderator.

"Watchdog Indiana has evaluated the available facts and determined that the constitutional property tax caps will be good for Hoosier working families," Smith said. "However, well-meaning folks have considered the very same facts and want the Indiana House to not pass SJR 1. The primary purpose of the Discussion Panel is to help the residents decide for themselves whether or not the constitutional property tax caps are a good thing."

Smith expects that exchanges between the audience and their state legislators will be pertinent and respectful.

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