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By KEVIN KOELLING
PERRY COUNTY – The glass-half-empty view: Units of local government in Perry County lost just over $2 million in tax revenues for 2013 due to circuit breakers.
The glass-half-full view: Those who pay property taxes in the county saved that much.
Referring to the amounts as credits, the state reports amounts withheld through property-tax caps that were the subject of a 2010 general-election-ballot question. Perry County’s response as to whether the state’s constitution should be amended to include the limits was approximately two-to-one in favor of the change. If a property-tax bill exceeds the limit, anything over that amount is considered a credit and simply goes unpaid. Legislation implementing the caps authorized options for imposing local income taxes to mitigate the revenue losses.
The state’s Department of Local Government Finance released a report to the county auditor Aug. 23 that details the amounts credited in each of the county’s taxing units. Collectively, Perry County’s total was $2,002,027.50.
Of that total, $365,396.54 is the result of 1-percent homestead circuit-breaker credits. Another $842,715.48 was calculated in 2-percent circuit-breaker credits, $762,384.90 came through 3-percent credits and $31,530.58 in credits were for some people older than 65 years.
Homestead properties are eligible for 1-percent caps; 2-percent caps are applied to other residential properties, agricultural land and long-term care facilities; and taxes on nonresidential and personal property is limited to 3 percent. Over 65 circuit-breaker credits available to some senior citizens prevents their property-tax liability from increasing by more than 2 percent. As the News reported in an April story reminding people to file for deductions, conditions include reaching age 65 by Dec. 31 and residing on the property. The property owner’s adjusted gross income limit must be less than $30,000 for individuals and $40,000 for married couples.
The assessed value on residential property can’t be more than $160,000.
Total credits for each of the county’s taxing units – the amount of revenue they lose this year – are $449,582 for Tell City, $195,254 for Cannelton and $1,686 for Troy. The Cannelton City Schools Corp. is feeling a $228,686 pinch, Perry Central Community School Corp.’s loss is $6,438 and the Tell City-Troy Township school system’s cut is $643,991.
Losses for the seven townships comprising Perry County include Anderson Township’s $15.92, $37.28 for Clark, $82.82 for Leopold, $24.02 for Oil, $27.69 for Tobin, $13,037.61 for Troy and $51.53 for Union.
The circuit-breaker credit for the Perry County Public Library is $61,518 for 2013, and for the Perry County Airport Authority, it’s $3,265.