Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

December 8, 2013

Bipartisan opposition locally to killing tax

(Continued)

Property tax caps put a limit on tax payments, but according to Yoder, some businesses, homeowners and farmland owners have not reached their cap limit and would experience an increase in property taxes.

“My sense is the agriculture community in this county will be hit larger than most because that farmland probably has not been capped out yet,” Yoder said. “From a community standpoint, businesses will not be contributing as much to the mixture of taxes.”

Why eliminate the tax?

Pence and the Indiana Chamber of Commerce contend the elimination of the tax will help boost the state’s standing as a business-friendly state and will help lure businesses. Yoder thinks there is no factual basis for the claims.

“I can’t find any correlation to our tax structure and new jobs,” Yoder said.

He said he researched the issue and found Indiana is not in the top 10 states where people are moving to to find jobs, despite the state’s low corporate tax rate, being a right-to-work state and being generally business friendly.

“Local Chambers know we need strong local communities with well-trained work forces. It has nothing to do with tax structure,” Yoder said.

The Goshen Chamber of Commerce Policy Committee met Thursday to discuss Pence’s proposal and will make a recommendation in the near future to the Chamber’s board on support or opposition to the proposal, according to Chamber President David Daugherty. He believes there is a possibility the Chamber will oppose the proposal.

“It goes back to property tax caps having put a severe strain on local government,” Daugherty said. “It would be extremely damaging to our local communities.”

The issue is the loss of revenue for services in municipalities, for schools, for libraries, etc., according to Daugherty.

“I would say there is a real concern about tax caps and then taking away almost an additional billion dollars in revenue without local government having some way to replace it,” he said.

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Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

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