The Indianapolis Marion County City-County Council voted 23 to 6 Monday night, approving a proposal which creates a study commission on the effects of the homestead tax credit. The creation of the bipartisan study commission comes as part of the budget agreement between the council and Mayor Greg Ballard‘s office.
Democratic Councilor Brian Mahern voted against the proposal because he felt it would end with a raise in property taxes.
But Republican Council Minority Leader Mike McQuillen says the proposal does not mean a decision on keeping or eliminating the homestead tax credit will be made.
“The proposal is to study, review and analyze said effects,” McQuillen says. “It’s not to increase anyone’s propety taxes unless we have an honest converstaion with everyone about how we should proceed we won’t know where we need to go with this.”
Last year, Mayor Ballard proposed eliminating the homestead tax credit in his budget proposal. The mayor‘s office says eliminating the credit would bring in an additional nine million dollars to the city. Ballard said eliminating the credit would likely increase some residents‘ property taxes, but would only amount to an average cost of $24 per year.
Democratic Councilor Vernon Brown says when the elimination of the homestead tax credit was proposed last year, Mayor Ballard‘s office said it would only affect a few households.
“Come to find out later on, we’re talking about 200,000 homes in Marion County will have to pay additional property taxes if we eliminate this credit,” Brown says. “I wasn’t in favor of doing it then, I’m not in favor of doing it now and I won’t be in favor of raising property taxes in the future.”
A final report from the commission is due in mid-July.