GOVERNMENT: Lean years not over

The Times Board of Economists: Economic update from Michael Griffin, Town of Highland clerk/treasurer
2012-10-21T00:00:00Z 2013-12-18T16:23:26Z GOVERNMENT: Lean years not overBy Keith Benman keith.benman@nwi.com, (219) 933-3326 nwitimes.com

Local governments continue to deal with fallout from constitutionally enshrined property tax caps in Indiana and that burden is doubled in Lake County, where tax levies are frozen until a local option income tax is approved by the County Council.

Local governments across the region have reduced workforces, cut some services and entered into consolidations where practical.

"Our goal is to try to reduce costs," said Highland Clerk/Treasurer Michael Griffin.

The most positive action that could be taken to bolster local government finances in Lake County is the enacting of a local income tax and the most negative would be the elimination of the personal property tax, Griffin said.

But the Lake County Council won't heed pleas to pass a tax in effect in all other Indiana counties and the fate of the personal property tax will be up to the next General Assembly and governor, Griffin said.

On the plus side, the state of Indiana is in a strong fiscal position with a budget surplus and would be able to weather an economic downturn better than other states in the Midwest.

 

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