September 25, 2017

Study Committee Discusses Bill Meant To Mitigate Gentrification

The bill would allow local councils to create a program that offers property tax relief to certain residents of redeveloped and beautified areas. - File photo

The bill would allow local councils to create a program that offers property tax relief to certain residents of redeveloped and beautified areas.

File photo

Lawmakers Monday debated a proposal meant to soften the effects of rising property taxes for longtime residents of redeveloped urban areas. But some legislators expressed concern about the many moving parts of the plan to reduce the impact of gentrification.

The legislation proposed in a study committee would allow local councils to create a program that offers property tax relief to certain residents of redeveloped and beautified areas.

Democratic Indianapolis City-County Councillor Vop Osili supports the idea. But he notes certain aspects of the program, like how it defines eligibility, will likely be challenged and tweaked along the way.

“I think we need to be talking about, sort of an income guideline for this, a duration of residency for this, whether or not at the time of sale do you pay back some of that. You know, those things have to be worked out,” Osili says.

Republican Senator James Buck was among a number of lawmakers concerned with the program’s complexity.

Buck also says neighborhood property values ebb and flow, and that subsidizing certain residents will create an economic hole that others would need to fill.

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