Legislature Approves Changes To Business Property Tax

Legislation lawmakers passed Thursday gives local governments the options of eliminating the tax on business equipment.

phone and computer

Photo: Phil Roeder (Flickr)

The business personal property tax is a levy on a wide variety of business items, including computers and office furniture.

The legislature Thursday sent legislation reforming the state’s business personal property tax to Governor Mike Pence.

The business personal property tax is a levy on business equipment that generates about $1 billion a year for local governments . 

The original House proposal gave local governments the option to exempt the tax on new purchases.  The Senate version eliminated the tax statewide on small businesses. 

The legislation approved Thursday retains the House local option while making the Senate plan a local decision as well.  Rep. Eric Turner, R-Cicero, calls the bill the most important measure of this legislative session.

“This is a strong jobs bill with local flexibility,” he says.

The local options on the business personal property tax won’t begin until July 2015.

“It will give the legislature time to look at whether replacement revenues need to be adjusted, what they should be and I think it’s just a prudent approach,” House Speaker Brian Bosma says.

The legislation also continues cuts to the corporate and financial institutions taxes. But House Minority Leader Scott Pelath says the bill only focuses on one side of the economic equation.

“Again, going back to the playbook, the economic development theory – the often failed one – which is how do we get more money and more power into the hands of the right people in hopes they’ll do nice things for the rest of us,” he says.

Brandon Smith, IPBS

Brandon Smith, IPBS has previously worked as a reporter and anchor for KBIA Radio in Columbia, MO, and at WSPY Radio in Plano, IL as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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