Posted October 04, 2018 11:00:00 Indiana lawmakers passed a bill Monday that would require landlords to provide renters with more information about their properties.
The bill was sponsored by Sen. Joe Sestak, R-Indiana, who also introduced a bill to require landlords and homeowners to provide more information.
The Indiana Department of Revenue estimates that about 10,000 properties have property taxes outstanding.
The new law would allow landlords to add a “property tax payment” to the property’s rent to help reduce the value of the property.
The legislation also creates a state-wide registry of property tax liens and a new reporting requirement for those who owe more than their fair market value.
In order to get the new law passed, Sestuk had to overcome a strong opposition from some lawmakers.
The law would require the Department of Licensing to establish a “qualified seller” and “qualified tenant” status, but he said that he will be able to use the existing exemption from the state’s rent regulation.
“If I have a qualified tenant and I want to charge them more than I owe them, they can’t go back and say, ‘No, that was the reason,'” Sestank said.
“And the same thing happens for a qualified seller.
If the qualified seller is not qualified, the tenant can’t sue and it’s the property that has to pay.”
A state senator, Sen. Mike Schuette, R of Indiana, sponsored a similar bill to make it easier for landlords to claim rent exemption.
“The goal here is to make sure that people who are in a position of trust and who are making a substantial investment in their home can be able, when they are owed money, to make that money,” Schuetas spokesman Matt Smith said.
Schuettes bill is part of an effort by the state to create a statewide tax database, but it is unclear how it would work.
“This is a way for the state of Indiana to provide tax data to the people who own property and to the state government,” Smith said, “which will help the state collect more tax revenue.”
It is unclear whether the new bill would require renters to sign a form promising not to use tax information for the purpose of discrimination or to pay more than they owe.
“There is no evidence that this bill will discriminate against anyone,” Schutzette said.
The Senate and House passed the bill Tuesday, but the Senate will need to pass it again to send it to the governor for signature.