CROWN POINT | The Lake County Council unanimously opposes a call by Gov. Mike Pence to eliminate the business personal property tax.
Republican and Democratic members of the council agreed Tuesday, in the form of a council resolution, that the governor's proposal would be a financial disaster for local government.
Lake County schools, cities, towns, townships and county government stand to lose an estimated $115 million in business-derived taxes if the governor's idea were enacted into law, said Larry Blanchard, a consultant for county commissioners.
Council members also said homeowners could expect a property tax increase of between $500 and $1,000 a year along with increases in the county's personal income tax and government user fees to keep essential government services going.
Councilman Dave Hamm, D-Hammond, said, "With the tax caps, business already has gotten a huge tax break. This would just give them another."
Councilman Dan Dernulc, R-Highland, said, "This would hurt our economy."
Councilman Eldon Strong, R-Crown Point, said he believes small businesses deserve a tax break, "but a blanket elimination is just ridiculous."
"I could never support that," Strong said.
Newly re-elected Council President Ted Bilski, D-Hobart, said the county's newly imposed income tax will bestow a generous property tax cut on Lake County businesses because business income is exempt from the new tax and businesses can share in the property tax reductions.