- Before a packed audience in the Statehouse rotunda, Gov. Mitch Daniels today signed into law House Bill 1001, which contains most of the property-tax relief measures he called for.

Flanked by legislators, Daniels added his signature to the 662-page document, which sets into motion a process for reducing homeowners' property taxes, on average, by 30 percent statewide and will eventually cap residential taxes at 1 percent of assessed value.

The immediate change that homeowners and all consumers will notice is that starting April 1, the 6 percent sales tax will increase to 7 percent to help pay for relief.

Daniels thanked lawmakers who helped navigate the bill through a contentious legislative session that ended Friday. The top House Democrat, Speaker Patrick Bauer, and the top Senate Republican, Senate president David Long, joined Daniels and Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman on the platform for the bill-signing.

A crowd filled the rotunda floor and two levels overlooking it and applauded as the governor signed the bill.

Among other things, the new law imposes caps on the property-tax revenue that local governments and schools can collect, called "circuit breakers." It requires some public-construction projects to be approved by voters in referendums. And it would transfer the duties of most township assessors to the county assessor.

After several taxpayer protests erupted last July over unexpectedly-high property-tax bills, Daniels and legislators were under pressure this session to pass a relief package, with elections ahead later this year.

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