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Lawmakers begin debating property tax relief, though help unlikely to come for this year's bills

Lauren Chapman

Indiana lawmakers are exploring ways to help Hoosiers dealing with big increases in property taxes. But the legislation discussed in a House committee Thursday won’t affect this year’s tax bills at all.

Home values are skyrocketing. Over the last decade, the statewide average increase was less than 5 percent a year. This year, it looks to be about 16 percent.

Property taxes are currently capped for homeowners at one percent of their assessed value. Rep. Jeff Thompson’s (R-Lizton) bill, HB 1499, would lower that to 0.9 percent in 2024, 0.925 percent in 2025, 0.95 percent in 2026 and 0.975 percent in 2027.

It also creates an additional homestead tax credit – $100 in 2024, going down by $25 a year after that.

But Thompson acknowledged none of that would help people with the tax bills they’ll pay this year.

“We’re too close and that water’s under the bridge,” Thompson said.

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While homeowners would be helped, local governments and schools would take a big hit – a loss of more than $350 million in 2024 alone. Thompson suggested it's not a decrease in revenue, it's just less of an increase.

He pointed out that many local governments will see double the typical increase in revenue this year, making the reduced revenue next year less painful.

But local government leaders said governments are under significant pressure from inflation. The increased revenue from this year's property taxes is helping balance out the increased costs they face.

“This would be a great curveball in '24, '25 and '26 that would be difficult for a city that’s not in a super-growth pattern yet to overcome,” said Muncie Mayor Dan Ridenour.

Thompson said he’ll continue working on potential solutions this legislative session.

Brandon is our Statehouse bureau chief. Contact him at or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

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Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. 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.