On Tuesday, the Senate approved two proposals authored by State Senator Eddie Melton (D-Gary). Senate Bill (SB) 416 would assist the Gary Community School Corporation (GCSC) by temporarily suspending debt payments to free up $43.5 million to fund the rehabilitation of buildings where students are currently attending school and demolish unsafe school buildings in the community. The bill would also allow the school corporation to enter into a public-private partnership for the construction of a new central middle and high school for Gary students.
“There are many schools that students are attending within the GCSC that are in desperate need of repair,” Sen. Melton said. “SB 416 would ensure our children are learning in safe environments and would allow us to demolish buildings that are affecting residents’ property values and creating unsafe spaces in our community.”
The second proposal, SB 435, would waive penalties and interest of delinquent property taxes to help Hoosiers pay what they owe and allow Indiana counties to recoup unpaid taxes. In Lake County alone, the bill has the potential to speed up the collection of over $100 million in delinquent property taxes.
“Right now, the penalties and interests on delinquent property taxes are making it nearly impossible for Hoosiers to ever repay those fines,” Sen. Melton said. “By waiving those fees, counties across the state will actually be able to collect the taxes owed by Hoosiers that they would likely not get otherwise. It’s time we help make sure Hoosiers can again be in good standing with their taxes.”
SB 416 was approved unanimously and SB 435 was approved 47-2. Both bills now move to the House of Representatives for further consideration.