The Indiana House Monday approved a historic bill that would make property-tax caps part of the state constitution.

The measure passed the Democrat-controlled House by a vote of 74 to 23. The Republican-controlled Senate is also expected to overwhelmingly pass the measure, which would allow voters to decide in November whether to make the tax caps part of the constitution.

Gov. Mitch Daniels, a Republican, has pushed for the amendment since the General Assembly approved the sweeping tax-cap measures two years ago. Under current state law, property tax bills are limited to 1% of a home’s assessed value, and are limited to 2% for rental properties and 3% for commercial properties.

“Our lower property taxes are closer to being permanent,” Daniels said after the House vote.

Making the law part of the state constitution would make it more difficult for future legislation to undo the caps. House Minority Leader Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, said the bill would make tax bills more predictable in addition to providing permanent tax relief.

Opponents, such as Rep. Vernon Smith, D-Gary, said the move would mean big revenue drops for local governments. Some have said the caps could force the fiscally strapped Gary to file for bankruptcy.

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