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Property tax relief proposal gets complicated in House committee

Property tax relief legislation got a lot more complicated Thursday as a House committee tried to soften the blow such relief would have on local government and school budgets.

The original proposal in HB 1499 was simple: create an additional homestead tax credit and reduce the cap on how much homeowners have to pay on their property taxes for a few years.

READ MORE: Lawmakers begin debating property tax relief, though help unlikely to come for this year’s bills

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The latest proposal is anything but simple. That additional homestead tax credit is gone. The reduction in the property tax cap is cut in half. The bill increases the homeowners and renters deductions on Hoosiers’ income taxes by $1,000 each. Local governments have a new option to create their own property tax relief.

“This thing has lots of moving parts," said Rep. Jeff Thompson (R-Lizton), the bill's author. "I consider none of them real, real drastic; some may.”

It’s not yet clear how much the average homeowner would save under the new proposal. And it’s not also not yet clear how much the plan would cost local governments and schools.

The bill next heads to the House floor for further work.

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.