Column: Who wins by ending personal property tax?


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The Indiana General Assembly is generous when giving away the revenues of local governments. The latest scheme, advocated by the politicians wielding power at the state level, is to give a nice tax break to businesses at the expense of local governments. They propose to get rid of the property tax on business equipment.

Such property, called “personal,” is used by firms to make products and provide services. Long ago, households also paid the “personal” property tax. Today, a computer system used in a business is subject to the tax; a computer used in a household to surf the Web and send pictures to Granny is exempt.

There were good reasons for getting rid of the tax on household goods. It was widely ignored, and those who did not ignore it most frequently lied about what they owned and how much it was worth.

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