Indiana News

On Eve of House GOP Budget Plan, Pence Supporters Make Pitch for His

Backers tell House panel 10% tax cut would boost economy

2/13/2013

Supporters of Governor Pence's tax cut plan are making a final pitch for the idea before House Republicans roll out their budget.

The budget-writing Ways and Means Committee is expected to announce its spending plan this week and vote on it on Monday. A parade of citizens and business owners filled the committee's final preliminary hearing, to echo Pence's arguments for slashing Indiana's income tax by 10%.

Gary Hobbs with Indianapolis development group BWI says entrepreneurs are risk-takers by definition. He predicts they wouldn't pocket the tax cut, but would use it to expand their businesses, thus creating jobs and growing the economy. Other witnesses told the committee a few hundred dollars more in their take-home pay would mean significant relief to their household budgets.

Pence has proposed phasing in the tax cut over two years, ultimately lowering Indiana's 3.4% tax rate to 3.06%. Legislators haven't ruled out the tax cut, but have been skeptical it's the most effective way to jolt the economy or to use the state's available dollars.

Not all testimony before the committee supported Pence's fiscal blueprint. Horse breeders turned out to urge the committee to preserve their slice of slot-machine revenue at Indiana's two racetrack-casinos. Pence has proposed abolishing that subsidy and using the money for Medicaid.

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