County, day care await ruling on tax exemption

A Greenwood day care and early education center is involved in a legal dispute with Johnson County government over whether it should pay property taxes.

Both sides recently argued their cases to the Indiana Tax Court during a public hearing at Franklin College. The outcome of the case could potentially set a precedent statewide, said Dustin Huddleston, who represents the Johnson County Assessor’s Office.

The tax court has previously ruled on a few cases where day cares asked for education-related tax exemptions, but this is the first time a for-profit company has in Indiana, said Fort Wayne-based attorney Joshua Neal, who represents KinderCare.

KinderCare’s disagreement with the county centers mostly on whether it is mainly an education facility or a day care provider.

Johnson County wants KinderCare Learning Center on 980 S. State Road 135 to pay property taxes, while the day care says it shouldn’t have to. Neal said that it’s an early learning center that should be exempt from taxes because of its educational purpose.

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