Recently I asked to consider increasing the local Homestead Credit available to residential property taxpayers. My goal is to protect the taxpaying residents of our City. Since I took office more than three years ago I have not raised taxes and now I am asking for tax relief.
City Council was very thorough in studying how an early repeal of the inventory tax would impact Fort Wayne's tax revenues. I am asking that the same consideration be afforded to residential taxpayers.
I have no control over the court-ordered reassessment that will cause property values to increase, thereby increasing the bills property taxpayers receive in November, but I will do everything I can to protect property taxpayers. Increasing the Homestead Credit to a maximum rate of 12 percent will save property owners $50 - $100 annually.
The increase would have to be approved by the Allen County Tax Board. Fort Wayne City Council makes up the majority of the tax board. Counties that have County Option Income Tax (COIT) may increase the current 8 percent local rate with a new cap calculated separately for each affected county. An increase in the local Homestead Credit would reduce the tax bills property owners will receive in November if it is passed by July 1.
I hope that City Council will carefully review this proposal and do everything possible to help the property taxpayers of Fort Wayne.