Counties Defend Autonomy Over Local Tax Decisions

The Senate Budget and Taxation Committee heard testimony on SB 590, Small Business Personal Property Tax Relief Act of 2015, on March 10, 2015, in which Michael Sanderson, MACo Executive Director, testified in opposition. This bill depletes state revenues and reduces county personal property taxes, without any local action or input.

This would be done by mandating local governments to provide personal property tax exemptions for businesses with personal property of a total assessed value of $10,000 or less. Also, this bill would exempt these businesses from filing a personal property tax report and paying the annual filing fee (though the Administration suggested amendments during the bill hearing to remove this component, leaving only the local revenues in play). Counties believe that incentives and reductions in local tax rates or bases should be a local decision, and MACo resists proposals that automatically effect such changes across each county.

The written testimony states:

MACo believes this approach, and others like it, give counties flexibility in setting their rates to better tailor economic development strategies to attract businesses and provide funding for needed services, instead of setting an arbitrary mandate that would apply to a limited number of businesses.

 

For more on MACo’s 2015 legislation, visit the Legislative Database.