A Perry County corporation has reached an agreement to pay off back taxes on its property which had been set to go to auction.
Perry County attorney Chris Goffinet says Can-Clay Corporation will be making payments of 25 thousand dollars a month until their back tax bill is paid. That bill totals more than 375 thousand 600 dollars. Goffinet says the entire bill is set to be paid back and penalties are included in that. He says the company will continue to be liable for current bills as they come due.
Now properties owned by the Can Clay company were originally set to go to auction through a certificate sale this week. The minimum bid had previously been set at just over 34 thousand 910 dollars. Perry County would’ve lost revenue although the property could’ve been returned to tax rolls in order for them to generate revenue again.
There are 30 properties owned by Can Clay that are listed in the agreement. The majority of those properties are in an area between First and Fourth Streets and Adams and Herzeele Streets. They cover more than one fourth of the city’s downtown area. County commissioner Tom Hauser says the agreement is a better alternative than selling the property through a certificate sale.
As the legislative session is set to wind down this week, officials in Pike County are joining the battle against the business personal property tax being eliminated.
During this month’s meeting, the Pike County Commissioners voted to draft a resolution opposing the tax’s elimination. The resolution states that if eliminated, the lost funding would have to be made up through moving the funding source for any property below the circuit breaker level. It would move to real property tax for those properties and could result in higher personal income taxes according to county officials.
The resolution also points to no current proposal for replacement revenue after the tax. The elimination of the tax is one of the key elements of Indiana Governor Mike Pence’s agenda for this year’s legislative session.
Now personal property tax revenue accounts for 58 percent of Pike County’s assessment. Thus, the county would feel a heavy financial impact from the elimination of the tax with no replacement revenue.
Pike County joins several other area entities that have approved opposing the elimination of the business personal property tax. These include the cities of Jasper, Huntingburg, Ferdinand, and Washington along with the Northeast, Southwest, and Southeast Dubois school corporations.
A professor from Purdue University has been shedding light on the ongoing statewide battle over the business personal property tax.
Late last week, Larry DeBoer held a webinar in conjunction with the Daviess County Security Center as part of the On Local Government program run through Purdue Extension. DeBoer, a professor of Agriculture Economics at Purdue, told those in attendance that Article 10 Section 1 of the constitution in Indiana has made a lot of progress since the 1850s when everything had a tax on it, including home furniture. The article has seen significant change on a couple of occasions. The most recent of those was back in 2004 when inventory taxes were eliminated. Stocks, bonds, household property, and motor vehicles were eliminated as taxable items back in the late 1960′s.
Indiana and all other neighboring states except for Illinois currently have personal property taxes, though Indiana’s is the highest in terms of personal property assessed value. That number is at 13.7 percent. Among the other states, Wisconsin has the lowest rate across the region. Michigan is in the process of phasing out its personal property tax. That’s set to be done by 2024. Meanwhile, Ohio only charges taxes on utility equipment. The state ranks 19th out of 50 in tangible personal property tax collections per capita, a number DeBoer says is in the top third nationwide with states like New York, though New York doesn’t have a tax.
DeBoer further stated that the impact across counties and cities statewide would vary. Opponents of the tax have pointed to Indiana’s current standing in the business world as reason not to eliminate the tax. They say Indiana is already in the top 10 among states for the attraction of new businesses and the elimination of the tax wouldn’t affect a business’ decision whether or not to locate in the state.
An investigation into a domestic disturbance that took place last month has led to a Jasper man’s arrest on multiple felony charges.
Jasper Police say back on February 16th, 29-year-old Matthew Lee Hackmann threatened his wife with a 22 caliber revolver and a 6 inch hunting knife during a domestic dispute. Police say Hackmann fired the rifle into a mattress next to where his wife was sitting. He also threw the hunting knife into the same mattress and hit his wife in the back with the gun during the dispute. The police investigation further found that the dispute took place with the couple’s 3 year old daughter in the next room.
Hackmann was lodged in the Dubois County Security Center. He is facing Class D felonies for Pointing a Firearm at a Person, Domestic Violence in the Presence of a Child, and Criminal Recklessness. He is also facing a Class C felony for Intimidation and a Class B felony for Criminal Confinement.
Dubois County Emergency Management Director Tammy Miller has released details about this year’s round of annual tornado drills.
Miller says Governor Mike Pence has declared the week of March 16th through the 22nd as Severe Weather Preparedness Week across the state. Pence’s proclamation is designed to stress how important it is to promote public awareness of severe weather and what they need to do to get prepared.
Miller says in the meantime, Dubois County EMA is trying to get the word out:
Miller has also announced the date for this year’s statewide tornado drill. The drill will be held on Thursday March 20th barring any severe weather that day. The weather make up day would be Friday March 21st. She says tornadoes can come at any time of the year, so folks need to always be prepared:
The National Weather Service will be intiating two drills on the 20th. The first of the drills will take place sometime between 10 and 10:30 am eastern time so schools and workplaces can participate. The second drill will take place between 7:30 and 8 pm eastern time. The later time will allow for families to practice their own safety measures from home.
A test tornado warning announcement will start both drills. For more information or questions, you can call Tammy Miller or Gary Fritz at 482-2202.
A pair of potential changes to state law could make it easier on communities dealing with the problem of abandoned and rundown property.
One of the efforts, known as Senate Bill 422, has passed out of both chambers of the statehouse and will be heading to conference committee. The bill is designed to speed up the process of getting abandoned properties through the tax sale process. The bill allows properties to be sold outright at tax sales while reducing the time allowed for tax sale purchasers to petition courts for tax deeds. The time frame would go from 6 months to 3 months.
District 63 state representative Mark Messmer says getting those properties back on the market is important for residential development all across Indiana:
State lawmakers say abandoned homes and properties hurt other property values while increasing crime and lowering a community’s quality of life. Battles says one of the biggest challenges is figuring out who owns the abandoned property. He says a lot of the properties are held by out of town financial institutions, thus making it difficult to do anything with them.
Meanwhile, Lt Governor Sue Ellspermann is pushing a new grant program that would give communities funding to tear down old properties. The program has 75 million dollars in available competitive grants for communities to be able to purchase and demolish such structures.
Two entities across our area are already looking at trying to get some of this money. They are Sullivan County and the city of Vincennes.
An accident near St. Anthony left 2 people injured and shut down a stretch of State Road 64 for a short time this morning.
Just before 5:55 am this morning, Dubois County Sheriff’s deputies were called to an area along State Road 64 near South Street in St Anthony on a report of a 2 vehicle crash. Deputies say 57-year-old Stanley Stetter of St Anthony was on South Street at the intersection with State Road 64 at the same time that 66-year-old Charles Harkness of Eckerty was westbound along State Road 64.
Deputies say Stetter pulled into the intersection and did not yield for Harkness. Harkness’ vehicle hit Stetter’s vehicle in the driver’s side door.
Harkness complained of chest and neck pain and he was taken to Memorial Hospital by ambulance for treatment. Meanwhile, Stetter was taken by personal vehicle to Memorial Hospital for treatment of a head injury.
Both vehicles were total losses in this crash. Stetter was cited for failure to yield the right of way.State Road 64 was closed for about 35 minutes while the accident scene was being cleared.
St Anthony First Responders, Memorial Hospital EMS, and Hasneours Wrecker Service all assisted at the scene.