Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Opinion

March 25, 2014

MORTON MARCUS: Business tax compromise pits counties against each other

(Continued)

There seems to be no evidence that either bigger or smaller schools are better. In that case, the running of schools could be left to local operators, as McDonald’s franchise holders run their local restaurants under a national, company policy.

What about taxes? Are old patterns of taxation now obsolete? Indiana’s Legislature could not decide. The recently-ended session declared business personal property taxes (which are local taxes) should be eliminated in whole or in part. Not, however, before the next session of the Legislature, after the next round of elections, and the next opportunity to raise more campaign contributions from interested businesses.

As it stands, the decisions on business personal property taxes are going to be made by county leaders. This pits one county against another in the ever-changing fight for private investment.

Of course, if there are no business personal property tax revenues, there is less reason to fight for local investment and to provide development incentives. More jobs in your community might be a nuisance and a cost to local government paid for by higher income/property taxes on local residents.

It might surprise some wizards in our Legislature that they have passed a law that could work against economic development.

Morton Marcus is an economist, writer and speaker who may be reached at mortonjmarcus@yahoo.com.

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