Mayors concerned over plans to eliminate statewide business tax

Published: Feb. 12, 2014 at 3:11 AM CST|Updated: Feb. 19, 2014 at 3:03 AM CST
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Plans to eliminate a statewide business tax are not sitting well with Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke, who says getting rid of it will devastate local government.

At issue are the taxes business pay on personal property, everything from heavy equipment and machinery to furniture and copiers.

On Tuesday, Winnecke and four other mayors from across the state held a conference to say "Replace it, Don't erase it."

They argue eliminating the tax will mean huge cuts for police and fire departments, libraries, parks, schools and even things like pothole repair.

They also say it would push property tax rates to the max, costing homeowners, on average, an extra 7.3 percent.

Indiana Governor Mike Pence says he would consider using state dollars to offset any money cities lose through a proposed cut in the state's tax on business equipment.

Here's a statement from Winnecke on the issue that was released to 14 News:

"Our continued discussions with Governor Pence and legislative leaders have been productive, and today is evidence of our collective efforts. We greatly appreciate the Governor's commitment to support full replacement revenue from the state under Senate Bill 1. Regarding HB 1001, I share the concerns of my colleagues across Indiana that the local option without replacement revenue from the state creates an unnecessary competitive environment between counties. Eliminating the business personal property tax would greatly impact the quality of life and services provided by local government, thus creating a shift in the tax burden to homeowners. I look forward to further dialogue on these issues as the legislative session progresses."

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