As we head down the homestretch of the legislative session, county officials must stand vigilant and be prepared to reach out to their legislators. The legislature has set a target date of March 26 to wrap up (most) of their work. I say most, because unlike in previous years, the legislature is poised to recess rather than adjourn. The recess could be a few weeks or a few months. It all depends on how quickly the US Treasury is able to issue guidance on how American Rescue Plan funds can be spent. This includes a new wrinkle related to tax relief. Regarding state revenues, the American Rescue Plan includes language which appears to prohibit a state from using American Rescue Plan funds to directly or indirectly offset state revenues resulting from a change in law. States will also be required to report on state revenues and expenditures. This may preclude the state from reducing income and sales tax rates. The act does not appear to impact the ability of locals to backfill lost revenue due to tax relief efforts. As such, we may see attempts to reduce revenues to counties. This may bleed into discussions on property tax relief.
Here is what we know about ongoing property tax reform efforts:
As we enter the final weeks of the session, I expect to see action on legislation related to more than just property taxes. The legislature is poised to take action on transportation funding, elections, the county indigent program, and health district funding. As the game clock winds down, please keep an eye on your inbox as IAC will be sending our regular updates and alerts. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any questions or concerns.