Local governments have faced many fiscal challenges in the past several years, from the Great Recession to property tax cap losses, creating a strain on local governments’ budgets in many Indiana counties. The tax caps in particular have created new, complicated relationships within county taxing districts. In 2015, tax cap credits in Indiana amounted to nearly $786 million. This was savings to property owners but losses for local governments. Local elected officials now need a more comprehensive view of the property tax system in their county to make decisions for their own unit of government.
Local elected officials and community leaders came together recently in southwest Indiana to learn more about Indiana’s property tax system and trends in southwest Indiana. A series of nine tables takes each county through their property tax system, from appropriations of individual units and district tax rates to tax cap credits and example homeowner tax bills. The majority of the participants (83 percent) stated they gained a better understanding of local government budgeting tools and taxes. One local elected official said learning through their own counties’ property tax data prepared them for constructing their budget this year.