GOVERNMENT: All eyes turn to Lake Co. income tax

Times Board of Economists - Update from Michael Griffin, City of Highland clerk/treasurer
2013-10-20T00:00:00Z 2013-12-18T16:20:19Z GOVERNMENT: All eyes turn to Lake Co. income taxBy Keith Benman keith.benman@nwi.com, (219) 933-3326 nwitimes.com

Lake County's last-in-the-state local income tax is now nicking wage earners' paychecks, but they will get something back for their money.

Under the legislation authorizing the tax, taxpayers countywide should get about $97.3 million in total property tax relief. The actual tax relief will vary by community, but property taxpayers in some could see overall tax bills 16 to 18 percent lower.

"The property tax relief people will see is substantial," said City of Highland Clerk/Treasurer Michael Griffin.

Local law enforcement and economic development also will realize benefits, about $24.3 million each in the first year to be exact, according to current estimates.

A good portion of local law enforcement's share will go to help fund the start up of a new county-wide dispatch system. But there should be some left for local police departments as well, providing some relief for budgets.

A fringe benefit of the income tax is that the associated property tax relief will provide some room before state property tax caps kick in for some locales, which should also aid municipal budgets.

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