Kevin Rader/Eyewitness News
Indianapolis - Gov. Mitch Daniels says not to expect a special session to deal with skyrocketing property tax bills, but there is another option to help homeowners.
Phil Jones spent a part of his trimming in front of the home he has lived in for the last thirty three years. His house was made famous in the Peyton Manning commercial shot one year ago. Jones' property taxes doubled since that commercial was shot.
"I don't feel the taxes are unfair but getting it all in one jolt" is his complaint.
In an effort to help property tax payers like Phil Jones, Gov. Daniels directed counties to accept homestead deduction applications until October 15th for homeowners who missed the filing deadline this year. He also announced that he was giving up hope of turning the proposed rebate check into a credit.
"[House Speaker Pat Bauer] authored the rebate; likes the rebate and insists on keeping the rebate so the rebate it is," said the governor.
The governor says he had proposed alternatives to bring greater short term relief but Bauer shut the door on all of them. "He's listened but he's said no to everything. And not being much into futile gestures, I think we're just gonna have to concentrate our efforts on long-term relief and more fundamental steps," said Daniels.
"I would have preferred a credit. The rebate check might come and it might not. It's kind of disconnected from the taxes," said Jones.
The governor's admission that he did not believe there now would be a special session to deal with property taxes disappointed this Democrat. "I'm disappointed in that. I thought the legislature could have come back to deal with this but it is going to take a long term fix," said Jones.
"This has got to be the focus of the next legislative session and the steps that I'll recommend although I have not settled on details yet will be very fundamental and I feel no less urgency than ever about this," said Daniels.
Right now Jones says he doesn't have any intention of calling the movers back to his house anytime soon but he is really not happy about his bill, or the current state of affairs. "Sometimes it seems like if a Democratic mayor wants something, the Republicans don't want it and if the Republican governor wants something the Democrats don't. That is not a good way to run a government."
Gov. Daniels, meantime, is leading a delegation of nearly 70 state, business and community leaders on an economic development trip to Japan. The group is scheduled to depart on Friday. It will be the governor's third trip to the Far East.
Daniels is asking lawmakers to approve his homestead credit deduction decision when they convene for Organizational Day this November.
The deadline was June 10th. But Daniels has told counties to accept applications for the tax breaks through October 15th. He says lawmakers will probably have to ratify his decision to make it legal when they return for an organization day in November.
The standard homestead deduction reduces the taxable income of an owner-occupied home by as much as $45,000. The credit reduces one's bill between 15 to 20 percent.
The extension does not apply to property taxes payable this year.