State of the City: Mayor says challenges ahead

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – During Thursday’s State of the City address, Terre Haute Mayor Duke Bennett said the potential reduction of business personal property tax is top priority on his agenda, saying that a substantial seven-figure difference in city funding would be a major step backwards for the community.

“So when you look at just the real estate tax side of it, or tax caps, we lose about $9 million a year. Okay, we’ve kind of worked through that, and we are surviving and we’ll move forward from there. When you add the business personal property tax on top of it, that’s a potential lose of another $4.5 million,” Mayor Bennett said.

Mayor Bennett also says the potential loss of $4.5 million could result in layoffs, primarily in public safety.

The mayor is optimistic about the future of Terre Haute, but also agrees there’s plenty of work to be done in order to keep heading in the right direction.

“In order for us to grow as a city, you’ve got to have clean parks and safe parks, clean and safe streets. Police and fire protections got to be good or people aren’t going to come here anyway. We can’t trade off paying a lot less in taxes and then what you get in return is not good government. So it’s that balancing act. I’m feeling better, but we’ve still got challenges,” Bennett adds.

Bennett says, even with a bad economy, things have been improving in the Terre Haute community.

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