Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry is joining numerous other leaders from throughout Allen County in opposing a proposal to eliminate the city’s business personal property tax on new equipment. The effort is currently being considered by the Fort Wayne City Council.
Henry’s office says such a move would shift the tax burden to local governments, schools, and homeowners, resulting in a loss of more than $55 million in tax revenue with no plan to replace the revenue source. The revenue generated by the tax is used county-wide to help fund police and fire protection, neighborhood infrastructure improvements, parks enhancements, bus transportation, and education initiatives in various school systems.
If approved by the council, homeowners in Allen County whose property taxes are below the 1 percent cap could see a tax increase while experiencing a reduction in the services the taxes pay for, according to Henry.
"Fort Wayne and northeast Indiana are moving in the right direction with positive momentum and investments like never before," Henry said in a news release. "We’ve become a destination city and region with quality of life amenities that provide an attractive live, work and play model for individuals and families. Now is not the time to change course and negatively impact public services and schools."
Henry was joined Thursday by leaders from the city of New Haven, Allen County Public Library, Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority, Fort Wayne Community Schools, East Allen County Schools, Fort Wayne Public Transportation Corp., as well as community leaders and neighborhood advocates to urge the council to vote against the proposal.
The council will hold a public hearing on the proposal next week.