During the final hours of Indiana's Legislative Session lawmakers attempted to provide some property tax relief, but missed out on an opportunity to truly reform the state's property tax. Legislators voted to temporarily send property tax rebate checks to homeowners (after they already paid their property tax) worth $300 million to help offset increasing property taxes. Republicans are calling the legislation a political trick and in the end taxpayers are the real losers because inherent issues with Indiana's property tax are allowed to continue. For more, check out the Talking Taxes blog. Legislators also voted to allow counties to increase local income taxes in an attempt to allow locals to diversify their own revenue sources.
Smokers are also impacted by this last minute lawmaking and will soon pay 44 cents more for a pack of cigarettes. The new revenues generated are going to be used for health care programs and are expected to lower the number of Hoosiers who smoke. Of course, the increase is quite controversial given the ongoing need to fund health care and the fact that cigarette tax revenue declines overtime. For more on cigarette taxes read ITEP's Policy Brief on the topic.