US - Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard has urged the state to take over the city's police and fire pension obligations, as a way to deal with the impacts of legislation to cap property taxes.
But he said the bill would also have a big impact on the city, estimating the reduction in his budget to be between US$40-45m. He told lawmakers: "We are the largest economic engine for the state and therefore our city government must remain viable.
"I request that the legislature provide local government with the tools required to mitigate the effects of this bill. This will allow local governments to perform as needed to pay their bills.
"I would also ask for your help to look at absorbing public safety pensions which would relieve large operating costs from many counties. I would feel much relieved if this could be done."
When questioned about the cost of such proposals, Ballard said he was unable to provide figures as they were still being worked through, following a recent election.
The Indiana House of Representatives passed the bill on 24 January and it has now moved to the Indiana Senate for further consideration and action.
The committee has held public hearings on the property tax reform plan across the state.
Committee chairman William Crawford, the primary author of the bill, said: ""This is the most important legislation that the Indiana General Assembly will consider during the 2008 session. It is imperative that we give the people of Indiana every chance to examine the proposal in detail, and have ample opportunities to make their feelings known about it."
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