During his recently completed term in office, former Gov. Mitch Daniels was given justifiable credit for a series of property tax reforms. While significant, his achievements in that area have to be measured alongside an earlier reform that was more far-reaching in scope and far more difficult to achieve.
That reform came about more than three decades earlier, largely through the efforts of an unlikely political mastermind who had to deal with a General Assembly that was not so compliant as the one with which Daniels worked.
By 1973, when Otis “Doc” Bowen was in his first term as governor of Indiana, property taxes had more than doubled over a 10-year span.
The onerous taxes were not only exacting a toll from individual property owners but served to discourage business investment.
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