Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Star Reports Pence State of the State Address Renews Call for Business Tax Cut

From the Indianapolis Star:

Gov. Mike Pence renewed his calls to cut the state's business equipment tax and provide vouchers for low-income preschoolers during Tuesday tonight's State of the State address.
In his nearly 25-minute speech to a statewide television audience, the governor also pushed harder than he has in recent weeks for lawmakers to vote on a state constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage.
"Let's resolve this issue this year once and for all." said Pence, who repeated his support for protection of traditional marriage while calling for a civil and respectful debate.
For the most part, though, Pence continued to pound the drum for the the major initiatives that he set out during four policy speeches in December around the state, including his push to phase out the so-called business personal property tax.
"Taxing equipment and technology in a state that leads the nation in making a creating things just doesn't make sense," he said.
Both the House and Senate are considering measures that would reduce that tax, though those proposals are incremental compared to Pence's call for an eventual complete phase out.
Pence also highlighted the successes of his first year in office. "We balanced our budget, created jobs, cut red tape by 55 percent, improved our schools and roads and paid down state debt."
In a light moment, the governor quipped: "I even put the state's plane up for sale. If you know anyone looking for a great deal on a Beechcraft King Air 200, give me a call!"
The governor also urged lawmakers to pass a pre-K voucher program. So far, though, a measure in the House would create vouchers for only 1,000 children, far fewer than the up-to 40,000 Pence has said he hopes to help.
Pence also renewed calls for releasing $400 million in road funding, linking the state's individual and dependent tax exemptions to inflation, and making adoption easier in Indiana.