With a decision about property tax relief looming in the General Assembly, Mayor Tom Henry will ask his division directors Monday to examine how they can help the city cut $10 million from its budget.
“It won't be pretty,” Henry said.
In October, Gov. Mitch Daniels announced his plan to reduce the state's reliance on property taxes by raising sales tax, capping property taxes and setting spending limits for local government. While it would provide relief to taxpayers, it has caused nothing but cold sweats for local governments.
Not pretty maybe, but necessary. I still think everybody is exgagerating the estimates of what local units of government will lose under property tax relief, and there are options available, such as increasing the local income tax. But the point of reform is not just to give property owners relief and shift the tax burden elsewhere. The idea is to exercise fiscal discipline. If, in the process, citizens relearn what so many seem to have forgotten, that there is a connection between taxes exacted and services delivered, so much the better.