What is Replace Don’t Erase?
Replace Don’t Erase is an ongoing effort to preserve funding for cities, towns, counties, schools, townships, and libraries at a level that allows these units to continue providing Hoosiers with the quality of life they expect and deserve. Once again, the Indiana General Assembly is considering several provisions that would eliminate a significant portion of the business personal property tax, acts that would eliminate millions of dollars from local governments and hinder their ability to provide services, infrastructure, public safety, and other improvements. Growing Indiana’s economy is about more than a checklist of business taxes.
Aim Statements Regarding Business Personal Property Tax Legislation
Early on the morning of March 9, the Indiana General Assembly passed HB 1002, a bill moving through the legislative process that had significant momentum amid a movement to reduce Indiana’s business personal property tax. HB 1002 passed without any broad changes to Indiana’s business personal property tax and the corresponding funds distributed to cities, towns, counties, schools, and other local units. Throughout the session, Aim consistently opposed language previously contained in HB 1002 and several other bills that reduced or eliminated a portion of the business personal property tax without a sustainable, equitable replacement revenue source.
“The issue of eliminating all or a portion of Indiana’s business personal property tax has been a regular refrain since 2014. Serious discussions on this issue arose again in early 2021. Since that time, Aim had many productive conversations with lawmakers about the vital services and place-based initiatives funded by property taxes, including the business personal property tax. We thank them for the many opportunities they afforded us to communicate the devastating impact reducing these funds could have on local units of government without the implementation of a fair, long-term source of replacement revenue,” said Aim President and Sullivan Mayor Clint Lamb.
“Local government leaders are at the forefront of Indiana’s drive to retain and grow our population, the talent base that will power Indiana’s economy. Any reduction in revenues would hamstring their ability to provide basic services, let alone the kind of quality of place investments necessary to bolster the Hoosier workforce and be the kind of place people want to locate. The legislature heard our many concerns and acted accordingly. We appreciate the open dialogue, the willingness to engage, the collaborative spirit displayed by legislators from all areas of the state. We are especially grateful for the steadfast commitment of Senate Pro Tem Roderick Bray, Appropriations Chair Sen. Ryan Mishler and Senate Tax and Fiscal Policy Committee Chair Sen. Travis Holdman, throughout out the entire legislative session,” said Aim CEO Matt Greller.
Aim will continue working with lawmakers in the off-session to communicate the importance of maintaining and growing existing revenue streams and the innovative work being done at the local level to propel our state forward.
Personal Property Tax
According to the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance, personal property taxes are levied against equipment used in the production of income or held as an investment; billboards; foundations for the equipment; and all other tangible property other than real property.