Tim Vandenack
Tim Vandenack
In Indiana Buzz, reporter Tim Vandenack blogs on politics, immigration, elections, taxes, errant geese and more.

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Elkhart County's cities, schools, townships could lose $23M to property tax cut

The elimination of the personal property tax, as proposed by Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, would have a dramatic impact.

Posted on Jan. 8, 2014 at 12:00 a.m. | Updated on Jan. 8, 2014 at 12:28 p.m.

Wednesday Jan. 8, 2014

The elimination of the personal property tax, as proposed by Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, would have a dramatic impact.

It would reduce the collective tax load of the businesses that pay the tax -- applicable to business machinery and equipment -- by some $1.06 billion statewide in 2015, according to Indiana Legislative Services Agency estimates. Elkhart County businesses would pay $29.5 million less.

  • Want to see the LSA report with the $1.06 billion estimate and more? Look here.

That's got some businessman nodding their heads in agreement with Pence, who aims to spur business development via the proposal.

Local government leaders, though, are worried. Collectively, Indiana's counties, cities, towns, libraries, schools, townships and other local government units would lose somewhere around $700 million. In Elkhart County, the losses would hover somewhere around $23 million -- less money to fund the varied entities' operations and services.

  • Governor's proposal "very, very concerning," says Wayne Stubbs, the Concord schools superintendent. Look here for more local reaction to the Pence plan from this Elkhart Truth story.

Following is a closer look at estimated personal property tax losses in 2015 by taxing unit, if the personal property tax in Indiana were eliminated, using the LSA estimates. The figures don't factor losses in funds with set taxing rates.

Cities, towns, county Estimated loss
Elkhart  $           4,777,218
Elkhart Co  $           2,387,625
Goshen  $           2,049,568
Nappanee  $              375,547
Middlebury  $              220,385
Bristol  $                76,443
Wakarusa  $                50,397
Millersburg  $                17,469
Schools Estimated loss
Elkhart schools  $           2,658,963
Goshen schools  $           1,744,694
Concord schools  $           1,532,230
Middlebury schools  $              636,942
Wa-Nee schools  $              284,962
Baugo schools  $              180,413
Fairfield schools  $                14,113
Library systems Estimated loss
Elkhart library  $              484,577
Goshen library  $              194,123
Nappanee library  $                66,078
Middlebury library  $                41,215
Bristol library  $                12,069
Wakarusa library  $                  5,525
Townships Estimated loss
Middlebury Twp  $              150,668
Concord Twp  $              140,441
Osolo Twp  $                85,948
Cleveland Twp  $                71,139
Elkhart Twp  $                40,534
Washington Twp  $                21,186
Baugo Twp  $                13,527
Jefferson Twp  $                12,860
Union Twp  $                  6,414
York Twp  $                  3,627
Locke Twp  $                  3,617
Clinton Twp  $                  2,602
Olive Twp  $                  1,167
Harrison Twp  $                     826
Benton Twp  $                     111
Jackson Twp  $                       15

The collective losses to the above entities, including tax increment finance districts but not funds with set taxing rates, amounts to $20.56 million. Adding the other funds boosts the figure to perhaps $23 million.

The varied taxing units are already losing funds due to property tax caps (look at this earlier blog post). Losses, above, if the personal property tax were axed would come on top of those.

Tim Vandenack is a reporter at the Elkhart Truth newspaper in Elkhart, Ind., www.etruth.com. Reach him at tvandenack@etruth.com or 574-296-5884. Visit him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter at @timvandenack.

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