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Video: How Indiana’s Property Tax Caps Impact School Districts’ Bottom Lines

Unlike our last video on school finance, this post (sadly) does not contain barnyard animal noises.

But we at StateImpact decided to venture into Internet Video-land once again to explain why — despite the fact that we’ve discussed them at great length — Indiana’s property tax caps are far from old news.

The caps saved Indiana property owners a total of $704 million on their tax bills last year.

But some local governments really miss those revenues. The caps prevented school districts from collecting more than $245 million in property taxes in 2013. That’s a deeper hit than in years’ past; like for all other units of government, losses to the property tax caps are growing.

And the caps’ impact could grow even more. State lawmakers are considering proposals this session that would cut or limit a tax on business equipment — a move that would also curtail property tax revenues.

With that, we put together this video to explain (again) how schools’ budgets use your property tax dollars.

We also lay out how the property tax caps work in this post, and explain the proposed business personal property tax cuts in a separate post.

(One quick note to picky school finance nuts: Yes, we simplified the numbers in this video a little bit for ease of explanation. We know there isn’t just a transportation fund, but a bus replacement fund in addition to the debt service, capital projects and referendum funds.)

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