March 3, 2006

Home energy sales tax exemption amended into budget bill

House Bill 1081, the home energy sales tax exemption, was amended into the Indiana House of Representatives’ property tax bill, House Bill 1001, during a meeting of the Senate Tax and Fiscal Policy Committee.

The amendment provides a sales tax exemption for the sale of home energy to a person who acquires the energy through a home-energy assistance program administered by the Division of Family Resources.

“It is good that the effort to extend the sales tax exemption is still alive,” said Glenn Tebbe, executive director of the Indiana Catholic Conference, “but the amended version only provides a home energy sales tax exemption on a temporary basis for the year 2007. The hope is that during the budget writing session, which begins in January 2007, the exemption can be included in a more permanent manner.”

In addition, several other changes were made in House Bill 1001. Even though many lawmakers support the home energy portion of the bill, because of the other major tax issues, including property and other local tax laws, the bill’s fate is uncertain.

The bill, which passed 97-0 in the Indiana House of Representatives, should pass in the Senate, but is expected to go to conference committee, where “anything can happen,” Tebbe said.

The Indiana Catholic Conference supports the home-heating assistance program because it will assist low-income families in keeping heat in their homes during the winter months. †


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