INDIANAPOLIS—Today, Senate Bill (SB) 275 was approved out of the House of Representatives with a vote 88-1. The legislation would create a tax amnesty program for participating counties, waiving the penalty and interest fees on delinquent taxes. Author of SB 275, Assistant Democratic Leader Eddie Melton (D-Gary), released the following statement upon the passage of his bill.

“Getting SB 275 out of the legislature was a top priority for me this session, especially with the additional economic strain COVID-19 has caused so many,” Sen. Melton said. “When people are looking to pay off taxes they owe, the presence of extra penalties and interest fees can make the task of paying off that debt daunting and discouraging. By creating a tax amnesty program that waives those additional, burdensome fees, we’re providing Hoosier property owners with an incentive to begin making some headway on paying back the delinquent taxes they owe.

“In a time when so many residents are juggling unpaid bills and working to get a handle on their finances, I’m pleased to have a proposal like SB 275 moving forward. By paving a way for property owners to make payments on their delinquent taxes, we allow cities to begin receiving some of the funds they are owed, which can be redirected back into communities to promote economic development. SB 275 also sets us up to address community blight by getting delinquent properties back on the tax-roll.

“Now that SB 275 has been approved out of the House, it only has one last hurdle before making its way to the governor’s desk. I’m extremely grateful to my colleagues in the Senate and the House for giving this bill the support needed to advance. So many Hoosiers are struggling right now with debt and tough financial choices, and the tax amnesty program created under SB 275 will provide residents who are struggling with back-taxes some much-needed assistance on their road to financial recovery.”