Local governments, school boards and other governmental units provide services that taxpayers expect and rely on, Daugherty indicated, and those all add to “quality of place” that Chambers and local communities are striving to develop.
“How do you continue to provide roads, schools, police and fire (services) and make it a place where you want to place your business?” Daugherty asked. “The ability to reduce costs for businesses so they can hire more people and be more successful is part of our core belief. But being able to provide the police, fire and services is a concern as well. It is like two sides of a coin.”
Daugherty said that people who look for sites for business locations do consider tax rates, but that factor is not the top priority.
“It is not factual to think that business property taxes alone is an issue that will attract jobs,” Daugherty said. “They will look at if you have good schools, good roads, adequate police and fire protection.”
Goshen Mayor Allan Kauffman, a Democrat, has to add up revenues every year and propose a budget to the City Council to provide such services.
“If they are going to be talking about eliminating this tax, they need to do a better job of planning for the consequences of the elimination of this tax,” Kauffman said.
One way to make up the loss would be allowing local governments to adopt a local option income tax.
“Will they give it to just counties, or also cities and towns,” Kauffman asked. “There is uneasiness across Indiana about this.”
Kauffman said because of the uneven distribution of manufacturing in the state, there would be a wide range of income tax rates in each county to make up the lost revenue, thus setting up a scenario where Hoosiers might begin selecting where to live based on county tax rates.