E.C. council opposes cuts in tax dollars for education

2014-02-02T18:45:00Z 2014-02-02T21:59:07Z E.C. council opposes cuts in tax dollars for educationPaul Czapkowicz Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
February 02, 2014 6:45 pm  • 

EAST CHICAGO | The East Chicago City Council has unanimously approved a resolution that expresses opposition to any state action that would reduce tax dollars for education.

The resolution indicates specific opposition to Senate Bill 1, which is pending in the Indiana General Assembly.

The bill would reduce the corporate income tax rate and exempt companies with less than $25,000 in taxable business equipment from the state's personal property tax.

"This has, of course, an impact not only on the city, but tremendously on the school systems because, literally, school systems have no other way of raising funds other than through taxation, either property or personal property taxation," council attorney Steve Bower said.

The resolution states the City Council believes there are already a sufficient number of existing tax and business benefits available to attract businesses to the state.

The resolution also directs the city clerk to send a copy of it to Gov. Mike Pence and all elected senators and representatives in Northwest Indiana.

At-large Councilwoman Myrna Maldonado, a first-grade teacher at Harrison Elementary School in East Chicago, sponsored the resolution.

"Anything that takes away dollars from any public school instruction in any way would be a detriment," she said. "And being in the classroom myself, I can actually firsthand see the needs of the students and the needs for supplies and the need for resources."

Maldonado said the city can find other ways to raise funds such as by assessing fees, but the school district does not have that ability.

"We can't take anymore away from the public schools," she said.

First District Councilman Adrian Santos asked if the School City of East Chicago has approved a similar resolution, and Maldonado said the School Board president has said the intent is to do so.

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