Arp, officials at odds over property tax proposal

(John Wagner/WOWO News)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry is joining with numerous other leaders from throughout Allen County opposing a proposal to eliminate the city’s business personal property tax on new business equipment, Inside Indiana Business reports. The effort is currently being considered by the Fort Wayne City Council.

Henry’s office says such local governments and schools would see a loss of more than $55 million in tax revenue with no plan to replace the revenue source. The revenue generated by the tax is used county-wide to help fund police and fire protection, neighborhood infrastructure improvements, parks enhancements, bus transportation, and education initiatives in various school systems.

If approved by the council, homeowners in Allen County whose property taxes are below the 1 percent cap could see a tax increase as well, according to Henry.

Speaking with WOWO News, Arp disputes that the impact would be as severe, and says that any losses would be phased in over a decade, as opposed to all at once, whenever individual businesses replace equipment.

“We’re talking about allowing businesses to have the freedom to not have to file or go through all of the compliance nonsense the City makes them go through,” Arp says, while pointing out that businesses already get tax abatements to the tune of millions of dollars, yet nobody complains.

Arp tells the Journal Gazette that losses would be closer to $37 million when everything has been fully implemented, but would be offset by the expiration of existing tax abatements and Tax Increment Financing Districts.

Hear Arp’s full interview below:

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