Governor Mitch Daniels recently signed into law a bill amended by Republican State Representative Tom Dermody, of LaPorte, that addresses the ongoing property tax problems in LaPorte County. The bill establishes taxpayer protections, gives incentives to local officials to participate in responsible leadership and gives the LaPorte County Commissioners more control to remedy the situation.
Taxpayers were recently notified they had a limited amount of time to pay property tax bills from 2007. This bill gives the county council the authority to allow taxpayers six months or more to send in their payments or to set up a payment plan. The county will also be prohibited from placing a property on tax sale for at least one year after the payment deadline. For those who can afford to pay immediately, the council will have the option of granting a tax credit of up to two percent of delayed property taxes if the taxes are paid within 30 days.
Representative Dermody said that requiring people to pay a tax bill from five years ago within a short amount of time is completely unreasonable.
Due to lack of property tax revenue, cities, towns, schools and libraries were forced to take out loans and use taxpayers’ fund to pay the interest on those loans.