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Study: Repeal of tax would cost Fort Wayne $9.4 million annually

Wednesday, October 3, 2012 - 6:48 am

A northeast Indiana lobbying group says the repeal of property taxes on business equipment, if enacted, would cost Fort Wayne more than $9 million in annual tax revenue.

The Regional Chamber of Northeast Indiana released a study on personal property taxes Tuesday, two days before a state commission was scheduled to discuss the impact of eliminating the tax.

Getting rid of the tax – which businesses pay on all their machines, computers, furniture and other equipment – could cost Allen County governments up to 8.8 percent of their overall tax revenue, with Fort Wayne taking the biggest hit, the study projected.

“There needs to be some reform,” said John Gerni, executive director of the regional chamber. “But before you engage in that discussion, we need to take a look at all the numbers and who would be affected.”

Gerni said he did not foresee a major push for personal property tax reform in the General Assembly's 2013 session. But opponents of the tax have mounted repeal efforts in the past, and the issue would likely come up again in some form, he said.

Of all the local government's in the regional chamber's 10-county area, the study projected Fort Wayne would take the biggest loss of revenue, about $9.4 million. On average, northeast Indiana governments would lose about 7.3 percent of their revenues, it said.