Business and Economics

County Local Option Income Tax Opposition

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One political party openly is opposing the prospect of a Lake County local option income tax. The Libertarian Party’s local organization wants residents to oppose a proposed 1.5% income tax levied at the option of Lake County. An informational meeting Monday night about the proposal at the County Fairgrounds included a Lake County council member and Lake County Commmissioner Gerry Scheub.

Tuesday, the County’s Libertarian Party shared the following statement of opposition to the tax in advance of a May 6th County Council meeting:

Libertarian Party of Lake County opposes the 1.5% Lake County Tax

The Lake County Council has scheduled a special meeting for Monday, May 6th. In April the council approved a 1.5 percent tax on the personal income of Lake County residents and workers by a 4-3 margin. Until now, Lake County has been the only Indiana county without an added income tax. Now our County Council is looking to assess Lake County residents and workers with the highest county tax in Indiana.
A second reading of this tax will take place During the May 6th meeting. A vote will take place after the reading that will move this 1.5% tax one step closer to reducing your paycheck. The Libertarian Party of Lake County cannot urge everyone strongly enough of the need to attend and stand against this tax.
The recent Senate Bill #585 includes having some studies done to consider a new trauma center to replace the Gary airport and redevelopment of the port in Portage. The new COIT could provide some funds for these studies. The Libertarian Party of Lake County does not think that this cost should be forced onto tax payers. Private businesses choosing to open a trauma center or operate a port would be very welcome additions to our county. County residents should not be taxed to cover what amounts to the start up business costs for these corporations to determine where they choose to operate.
Reports are that the county is having trouble meeting the everyday costs of running the county. A huge part of the Lake county budget problems are due to unfunded mandates from the State and Department of Justice. Currently a majority of the county budget goes to pay for criminal justice. The jail, juvenile center, corrections officers, mental health exams before incarceration, the closing of Gary and Hammond’s jails. It’s all too much! We are a prison county and we homeowners are paying for it!
It is imperative that the county reduce spending and learn to live within their budget just like each of us do in our own homes. Forcing cash strapped residents and workers in Lake County to pay for the spend thrift habits of this county council is not the way to encourage growth in our economy and our county.
Please make time in your busy schedules to attend the Lake County Council meeting at 4:30 p.m. Monday, May 6th in the Syd Garner Auditorium, 2293 N. Main Street, Crown Point, Indiana. Stand with the Libertarian Party of Lake County against the passage of the proposed local option income tax on this second and final reading.
This meeting is actually the councils second attempt to push this tax through. The council attempted to hold a meeting on Friday, April 29th to approve this same tax but was forced to cancel that meeting as they had not provided 24-hours advance notice as required by state law.
The vote of the council members is close. Hearing from the residents and workers in person could turn this vote around. If you are unable to attend in person please give them a call. Let’s not let Lake County go from a zero county tax to the highest in the state. Just think what that will do to our property values.

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