Two days after unveiling a property tax plan aimed at lessening the burden on home owners, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels began a swing through southern Indiana to drum up support. The Daniels Plan calls for a one cent increase in the states sales tax to raise an estimated $928 million for fiscal 2008. That income, and money from the state budget surplus, as well as funds from the "racino" slot parlors at central Indianas two horse tracks, would be used to dramatically drop property taxes for all Hoosiers. Home property tax rates would be capped at 1% under the plan, with rental property at 2% and business property at 3%. The Daniels Plan also calls for a massive streamlining of the states assessor network. There are currently 1100 positions charged with assessing property in Indiana. The governor wants each county to have just one assessor, who would be appointed instead of elected. The part of the plan that is drawing the most attention in Evansville is his request for a Tax Board in each county that would be charged with reviewing and approving spending plans for all taxing units, and the requirement of a referendum for any major capitol construction project. According to the Governors numbers, about 24% of property tax revenue currently collected in Indiana goes to pay debt service on money borrowed for things like schools, libraries and other municipal buildings. "We should stregthen taxpayers direct say in local decisions, especially the borrowing for new schools and other construction which has been the biggest driver of property tax increases," Said Daniels. E-VSC Superintendent Vince Bertram agrees that local taxing districts like schools need to work hard to hold the line on spending, but he is concerned about the challenge of organizing a referendum vote for every new spending initiative. "Its important that voters make an informed decision," said Bertram. He wants more details about how schools would advertise and inform the public about spending before a referendum. A proposed property tax levy increase to help fund the E-VSC was defeated in 2003 by a massive margin. The Vanderburgh County Taxpayers Association helped organize opposition to that referendum. Their president, David Coker, attended the Governors presentation in Evansville. He says he is offering guarded support for the plan, but worries that the sales tax will go through without real relief for property tax. "They pick and choose what they want to pass," Coker said of the General Assembly.