Indiana’s House Ways and Means Committee took the rare step last week of approving without changes a massive property tax reform bill in an effort to speed its passage through the House.

HB 1001 encompasses most of Gov. Mitch Daniels’ reform proposals, which would dramatically overhaul the state’s property tax structure.

Despite its 24-to-0 vote to send the bill to the full House for consideration, the committee does not wholly endorse the measure, according to chairman Rep. Bill Crawford. “We think the public wants property tax reform, and we want to keep it moving as expeditiously as possible,” he was quoted as saying in local reports.

Daniels asked lawmakers to enact property tax reform by the end of February in his recent state of the state address.

The committee had listened to nearly two weeks of public testimony on the bill, including an unusual morning-long appearance by Daniels last week. By the end of the two weeks, the bill had already attracted roughly 50 proposed amendments.

The Senate is considering a slew of smaller bills, most of which contain similar proposals to those in the House bill. Legislators said last week that a final version would only be hammered out in conference in late February.

The General Assembly was to reconvene yesterday and the full House was expected to call for a second reading on the bill.

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