June 30, 2017

July 1 Marks Tax, Fee Increases For Hoosiers

Article origination IPBS-RJC
July 1 Marks Tax, Fee Increases For Hoosiers

About 45 tax and fee increases take effect in Indiana July 1, the start of the new fiscal year.

Most of the tax and fee hikes the legislature passed this year are pretty routine, says John Ketzenberger, president of the Indiana Fiscal Policy Institute. The exceptions are tied to road funding – chiefly, a 10 cent-per-gallon gas tax hike.

“Gosh,” says Ketzenberger, “It’d been almost 20 years since we raised the fuel taxes, so it is unusual, and we talked about it for a couple of years before we did it.”

Other fee increases, like at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, will go to fund the legislature’s roads plan, too.

In general, Ketzenberger says, “it seems that government has moved toward the ‘if you use this service, then you should pay for it’ model, versus a general tax that everyone pays.”

He says another example is higher fees for copies of court records to help fund courthouse technology upgrades. The state is also raising its fees for some professional licenses and background checks.

Ketzenberger says it’s not too unusual to see Republicans approve tax increases, especially in the case of the road funding plan, which was a priority for Gov. Eric Holcomb and the legislature.

 “The fact that Republicans would support legislation that backs up their program that also raises taxes seems foreign, but it’s not really,” Ketzenberger says.

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