Lower local taxes expected again in 2018

Last Updated on May 31, 2017 by cassnetwork

A method of reducing the impact of special taxing districts on the tax rates will likely again be used this year by Logansport officials to keep property taxes low and preserve more money for schools.

Mayor Dave Kitchell said Tuesday the Logansport Redevelopment Commission is considering waiving 50 percent of the collections in Tax Increment Financing (TIF) districts again. By doing so last year, the city released half of the property tax assessment that had been captured in the Industrial Park, Gateway and East End TIF districts.  The move also raised the assessed value of the city, which spreads the tax burden and reduces the impact of property taxes on land outside the designated TIF districts. The exception is downtown where a TIF district has been used to fund various projects.

“This essentially serves as an economic stimulus for industry, small business and homeowners without the government paying a dime,” Kitchell said. “It’s a smart way to return money to property taxpayers at a time when the state-imposed property tax caps are hurting the city, the county and area schools.”

While waiving 50 percent of the value of the East End and Gateway Districts will help Logansport schools, waiving 50 percent of the value of the Industrial Park TIF District will benefit the Southeastern School Corporation.

“That’s significant for Southeastern because there is so little major industry in that school corporation other than what’s in the industrial park,” Kitchell said. “This diverts some of the burden away from farmers who would have to pay higher property taxes if there is a special tax levy imposed to pay for school projects. City and county officials have to be partners in economic development, but we have to support each other in community development and the success of our schools.”

The commission is expected to vote on the waiver at its next meeting.

Unlike most Indiana counties where school officials do not have a vote on distributing TIF money, Logansport’s includes two Logansport School Board members, Scott Kraud and Mike McCord, and a non-voting member, Matt Lewellen from the Southeastern School Board. McCord was appointed by the city council. Kraud and Lewellen were appointed by the mayor.

SOURCE: News release from Logansport Mayor Dave Kitchell