Coalition on Tax Cut: 'Replace, Don't Erase'

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The executive director of the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns says eliminating the state's business personal property tax without providing replacement revenue would hurt communities already "at the bare bone minimum" of funding. Matt Groeller says a coalition of local organizations called "Replace Don't Erase" will launch Thursday morning and call for guaranteed sources of replacement revenue if legislators approve the complete phase-out of the property tax. Governor Mike Pence has written a letter to mayors throughout the state saying he wants to execute the phaseout in a way that won't "unduly burden" local governments. Groeller says quality of life amenities are often just as important to business decision makers as the state's tax structure.

The coalition members are:

Association of Indiana Counties

Indiana Association of Chiefs of Police

Indiana Association of Cities and Towns

Indiana Association of County Commissioners

Indiana Association of School Business Officials

Indiana Association of Public School Superintendents

Indiana Conference of Mayors

Indiana Fire Chiefs Association

Indiana Library Federation

Indiana Municipal Management Association

Indiana State Fraternal Order of Police

Indiana School Board Association

Indiana Township Association

Indiana Urban Mayors Caucus

Indiana Volunteer Firefighters Association

Professional Firefighters Union of Indiana

January 29, 2014

News Release

Indianapolis, Ind. -- The Indiana Association of Cities and towns (IACT) and a group representing 15 statewide organizations are hosting a press conference at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Jan 30 to announce a new coalition. Members of these statewide organizations are coming together to preserve vital local government funds used to bring quality of life to cities and towns threatened by the elimination of the business personal property tax.

Who: Indiana Association of Cities and Towns and 15 statewide organizations

What: "Replace Don't Erase" is an effort to preserve local government funding at a level allowing local governments and public schools in Indiana to continue providing Hoosiers with the quality of life they expect and deserve.

Speakers: Representatives from city, town, county and township government, as well as school officials and administrators from public safety and libraries.

When: 10 a.m. on Thursday, Jan 30, 2014

Where: Indiana Association of Cities and Towns

125 West Market Street, Floor 1

Indianapolis, IN 46204

Replace Don't Erase: In an effort to communicate with one clear voice the consequences of eliminating all or some of the personal property tax without full replacement revenues, IACT invited the statewide organizations of all affected local units to join Replace Don’t Erase. Our hope is that by working together we can effectively communicate the seriousness of eliminating some or all personal property tax revenues without a state implemented replacement of these dollars. The quality of our schools, public safety departments, infrastructure, programs and ability to develop livable communities depends on the limited resources currently available. Changes to these revenue streams need to be made with utmost deliberation and full consideration for how the funds will otherwise be generated.

Source: Indiana Association of Cities and Towns

January 29, 2014

News Release

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Governor Mike Pence today sent a letter to mayors across Indiana on improving the economic wellbeing of Hoosiers by eliminating the business personal property tax. The letter continues the Governor's efforts to speak with Indiana's mayors about his ideas and create an open dialogue on how those ideas impact their communities.

The Governor also reiterated his commitment to ensuring the phase out of the tax does not unduly burden local governments and that he welcomes their ideas and insights on the matter.

"When I proposed phasing out the business personal property tax, I said there were many ways in which this could be accomplished, and I have reiterated that I’m talking about tax reform, not tax cuts," he writes. "First, as we work toward phasing out the business personal property tax, I have committed to doing so in a way that does not unduly burden local governments' ability to provide for the needs of their citizens. Second, I have advocated for local control and decision-making for adoption of any permanent phase out of the business personal property tax. Third, I have said that we cannot phase out this tax in a way shifts the tax burden to hard-working Hoosiers.

"We have many different needs and varying advantages and disadvantages in the communities of our Hoosier state. For some, removing the business personal property tax might be not be a priority. For others, removing the business personal property tax might be the breath of change that gives new life to economic development efforts... I welcome your thoughts and suggestions as to how we can accomplish this need."

Source: The Office of Governor Mike Pence