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Local Communities Looking for Additional Revenue

Several communities in the Wabash Valley have recently fallen on tough times financially.
Several communities in the Wabash Valley have recently fallen on tough times financially.

"We have to find a way to run the city with roughly 9 million dollars less than what we were running it with in 2008," Terre Haute Mayor Duke Bennett said. 

"Financially, we are short close to $300,000," Linton Mayor John Wilkes said.  

There's a direct connection between these tough times and a property tax-cap amendment Hoosier voters approved back in 2010.

"We had kind of the perfect storm. We passed the property tax caps as a state overwhelmingly, but then we also had a major a major reduction in the revenue coming in," Indiana State Rep. Alan Morrison said. 

"If you go into to vote and you see this referendum on the ballot that says do you want to lock your property taxes in so you don't need to pay more than one percent? People are going to say well yea!"

The property tax caps may be saving taxpayers money, but they're giving communities like  Sullivan, Linton and Terre Haute  a major headache. 

"Since 2009 when the tax caps came into place we've lost $35,000,000  from the general fund alone," Bennett said. 
In Terre Haute the city has reduced its workforce and cut spending to make up for the tax caps. Now they're looking into additional revenue services.

"We've looked at a lot of things. One of the things that we've talked about is a solid waste fee for our trash contract," Bennett said.

Mayor Bennett says charging for trash collection isn't the only option being thrown out on the table.

"We're going to have to look at annexation we're not going to have any choice, but to look at that. We're looking at some other enterprise relate revenues," Bennett said. 

"I do think there is light at the end of the tunnel. But right now it is something that our communities have to deal with and it's not easy," Morrison said.
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