The public got its last chance Monday to testify on this session’s major tax cut bill, HB 1002, as House and Senate Republicans haggle over the measure’s final details.
It appears that Indiana’s business personal property tax remains the biggest sticking point between the chambers. That tax is levied on the equipment companies use – everything from combines to computers.
And the bulk of the testimony Monday focused on that tax. Local governments are wary of a reduction – they rely on that tax as a revenue source.
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But the business community – which supports any cut to the tax – argues local governments won’t feel the effect of the proposed reduction for years. Indiana Chamber of Commerce Vice President Bill Waltz said that’s plenty of time to help those governments adjust.
"With some commitment to study it, evaluate the impact and provide replacement, as needed," Waltz said.
Democrats, like Sen. Tim Lanane (D-Anderson) said if the legislature is going to cut taxes, they should focus on things that will help Hoosiers struggling right now, like suspending the gas tax.
“They’re being hit hard in the pocketbook and they’re going to continue, for apparently the near future,” Lanane said.
Republicans nixed the idea of suspending the gas tax and noted it’s a primary funding source for infrastructure maintenance and improvement.