Column: Tax man giveth and taketh away


Commentary by Pete Smith

Gov. Mike Pence has said in recent weeks that he would like to establish a state tax credit that would help parents offset the cost of adopting children.

Pence’s proposal would allow parents to claim an additional credit on their state tax return even if they took a federal adoption tax credit.

Pence also is seeking a study committee to determine how to better connect the state’s adoption services and faith-based and community adoption programs.

And this isn’t the first tax change proposal Pence has made for the upcoming legislative session – he also would like to cut the business personal property tax.

The Hamilton County Assessor’s Website said this tax encompasses any movable machinery at a business including tools, computers, printers, fax machines, desks, chairs, machinery and signage.

But the Associated Press reports that the cuts could raise taxes for individual taxpayers.

If it were eliminated, analysts for the nonpartisan Legislative Services Agency predict that property taxes on homeowners could rise and locally based income taxes could increase by nearly 1 percentage point.

Pence has made eliminating the tax on business equipment a centerpiece of this year’s legislative agenda and said that it’s necessary to spur job creation.

But tax credits, cuts and caps often have unintended consequences. Remember the school funding issues that occurred statewide when property taxes were capped?

It might be prudent this time around to explain to cities like Carmel what a cut in business taxes will do to TIF projections and the debt load that those projected revenues are supposed to fund.




Residents of Southwest Clay Township also will pay more in taxes for 2013 as they edge closer to paying the full city tax rate as agreed upon in the annexation ordinance.

The Hamilton County Auditor estimated that the owner of a $300,000 house in that part of the city would see an increase of about $285 in their 2013 property tax bill versus the same bill for 2012.

After 2014, every resident in Southwest Clay Township will pay the same rate as other city taxpayers.

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