INDIANAPOLIS – On Monday, State Senator Eddie Melton (D-Gary) authored an amendment to House Bill (HB) 1001, the state’s two-year budget, on the Senate floor.

This amendment will help Hoosiers by allowing counties to establish a property tax amnesty program that will give taxpayers the opportunity to pay back late taxes without the added burden of high interest rates and penalty fees. Earlier in the 2019 legislative session, Sen. Melton authored Senate Bill (SB) 523 that was approved unanimously by the Senate and moved onto the House of Representatives for further consideration. The bill was not given a committee hearing in the House.

Sen. Melton had the following comments on the adoption of his amendment into the budget:

“This tax amnesty program will be life changing to so many Hoosier taxpayers. It will provide a relief to individuals by forgiving property tax penalties and interest to help them get back on track and back in good standing on their taxes.

“This program is a big step towards eliminating the blight that vacant lots have on our neighborhoods and will help counties access millions of dollars in delinquent tax payments. At the same time, this program will be a huge relief to Hoosiers who are currently unable to pay back these overdue taxes.”

To name a few counties who could benefit from this program, Lake County could collect as much as $96.3 million in delinquent taxes, Marion County could recoup nearly $36.5 million and Allen County could get almost $11.2 million.

The amendment was approved by a majority voice vote on the Senate floor.