Income taxes might go down to soften the blow of pushing Indiana’s gas and cigarette taxes up.
A House committee has resurrected Governor Pence's proposed 10-percent tax cut from three years ago.
Pence had to settle for 5-percent then, but Republicans have added the other half as a sweetener to the bill that raises other taxes to pay for road repairs.
House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) says the state can afford the full 10-percent tax cut now – three years ago, legislative Republicans had higher priorities.
“The point of discussion three years ago was the need to permanently repeal our state’s inheritance tax, which was the ultimate compromise – to repeal the inheritance tax and do half of the governor’s requested tax cut,” Bosma says.
Indiana's income tax rate is currently 3.3-percent and will go down to 3.23-percent next year.
Here's what the original bill (2013) says:
House Republicans' proposal would phase in additional cuts beginning in 2019, bottoming out at 3.06-percent six years later.
Hoosiers making $50,000 a year would see their tax bill cut by $85.
The Ways and Means Committee approved the proposal on a party-line vote.
Rep. Greg Porter (D-Indianapolis), the committee's top Democrat, dismisses the tax cut as a gimmick to make the bill's tax hikes easier to swallow.
“You look at it a wash. I guess it’s for those individuals that said they would not vote for a tax increase,” Porter says. “They’re trying to create an atmosphere that they can vote for a tax cut.”
The full House will vote Tuesday or Wednesday.
The Indiana Senate is separately considering Pence's road plan, which uses bonds and money from the state surplus for a four-year funding boost.