The Indiana Department of Local Government Finance this week said it would extend the deadlines for local governments and other taxing entities to send in their fiscal 2009 budgets and levies for approval. By pushing the deadline from September to December, the DLGF said it hopes to give local officials enough time to better analyze potential tax rates and levies and the effect of property tax caps.
“While most cities and towns are well on the way to finalizing budgets at this point, the added time may give some flexibility to those who are finding it necessary to run additional calculations to analyze the impact of the new property tax caps,” Matthew Greller, executive director of the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns, said in a statement on the new deadline.
In particular, many local school districts do not know what their assessed value is and the new deadline will give them time to put together “a more realistic budget,” Greller said.
Under new Indiana property tax law, residential property tax bills are capped at 1.5% of the home’s assessed value this year and 1% in 2010 and thereafter, and commercial tax bills will be capped at 3.5% of the building’s assessed value this year and 3% in 2010 and thereafter. The new law also requires that all new borrowing that is more than 1% of the unit’s assessed value will be subject to voter approval.
State law requires that the DLGF approves final budgets by Feb. 15. So far 60 counties of the state’s 93 have received complete budget approval from the department.