Journal of the Indiana Academy of the Social Sciences

Document Type



This paper outlines the economic health of Northwest Indiana communities following the latest national recession and the passage of statewide property tax reforms in 2008. This paper identifies the communities with the highest concentrations of economically distressed residents as measured by poverty, unemployment, and participation in the free- and reduced-lunch program during the time period from 2008 to 2012. These communities historically have had the highest property tax rates in the region. In the past, these high tax rates may have served as a disincentive for residential and business investment, but now, with the passage of statewide tax restructuring, the high rates have resulted in a new type of disparity in the form of significant funding losses for local government. For purposes of this paper, Northwest Indiana is defined as consisting of Lake, Porter, and LaPorte counties.