Republican State Representative Tom Dermody will be holding a press conference this morning at 10:00 a.m. CT at LaPorte City Hall concerning the approval of Senate Bill 19 that will help solve the property tax issues in LaPorte County.
Recently, taxpayers were notified they had 10 days to pay property tax bills from 2007. Senate Bill 19 would give taxpayers at least 18 months to send in their payments, or more if the county council decides to extend the deadline. In an effort to encourage prompt payments, the council could grant a tax credit of up to two percent of delayed property taxes if the taxes are paid within 30 days. Additionally, the county would be prohibited from placing a property on tax sale for at least one year after the payment deadline.
To encourage county officials to fix the property tax issue in a timely manner, Senate Bill 19 would require the county to set aside $4 million over a period of four years. This fund would go to reimburse cities, towns, schools, and libraries that relied on the county to collect property taxes, but had to take out high-interest loans to continue operating.
Another measure in the legislation would allow the county commissioners to remove the treasurer and auditor from the property tax collection process and appoint a ‘special master’ to handle the duties. The commissioners would directly oversee the person responsible for property tax collection, ensuring the job is done correctly.
Rep. Dermody will be joined by LaPorte City officials as well as the Superintendent of South Central Schools, Christopher Smith, and LaPorte Community School Corporation Superintenden,t Dr. Glade Montgomery.