Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Journal & Courier: Pence Adjusts Support for Business Tax Cut

From the Lafayette Journal & Courier:

In the face of a growing outcry from mayors across the state, Gov. Mike Pence announced Tuesday that he supports replacing some of the revenue that local governments would lose under proposals to cut Indiana’s tax on business equipment.

The governor said he will urge lawmakers to use state money to replace the losses local governments would face under a Senate bill that eliminates the business equipment tax on small businesses.

Those losses are estimated at $54.4 million. Without replacement revenue, local governments have made it clear that they oppose the legislation.

“After listening to local communities across our state, I have informed legislative leaders that I am open to full state replacement revenue for local governments to cover the cost of eliminating the business personal property tax on small businesses with less than $25,000 in equipment,” Pence said.

“This would ensure that any reform of this tax does not unduly burden local governments or shift the cost of this tax onto hardworking Hoosiers.”

But Pence said he also wants lawmakers to pass a separate House bill that would give counties the option of eliminating the business equipment tax on new investments.

The governor does not support replacing that revenue for local governments because it would be optional, said Christy Denault, a spokeswoman for the governor.

The announcement came after local government leaders from around the state, including Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, had a news conference Tuesday morning to say they oppose the tax cuts without state replacement revenue.