Leaders in Elkhart County — mayors, county commissioners, school officials — have said it for years: Property tax caps, the limits meant to keep a lid on the property taxes homeowners and other property owners pay, are wreaking havoc.
The caps, chiefly meant to help homeowners keep more money in their pockets, put a lid on the flow of funds into city, county, school, township and library coffers, forcing them to make do with less. With the recession, property values fell and assessed valuations fell, and, without getting into all the gory details here and now, that exacerbated things, compounded the losses.
Stay tuned for a more in-depth story as part of a coming package on the aftermath in Elkhart County of the Great Recession.
From the archives:
In the meantime, let’s move on to the latest batch of tax cap numbers I crunched (scroll down for the data in graphics). Figures were drawn from Legislative Services Agency and Indiana Department of Local Government Finance reports:
Cumulative losses due to caps to county government and the cities, towns, townships, library systems and schools in Elkhart County totaled $42.63 million in 2014, up from $2.58 million in 2009 (see the table to the right). That’s money in the pockets of homeowners and other property owners, but less funds to run government operations.
||Total property tax loss
- The city of Elkhart suffered the biggest hit, losing $10.81 million in 2014, up from $1.14 million in 2009. The Concord, Elkhart and Goshen school systems, Elkhart County and the city of Goshen also experienced multi-million dollar losses in 2014.
- More germane, perhaps — the city of Elkhart saw a $3.67 million drop in incoming property tax funds comparing 2009 inflows to those in 2014, after factoring tax cap losses. That dip, from $29.57 million to $25.9 million, represents a fall of 12.4 percent.
- Elkhart Community Schools drew $32.78 million in property taxes in 2009 and $28.07 million in 2014, a $4.71 million, or 14.37 percent, decline.
Here are more detailed numbers: