Pharos-Tribune

Local News

February 28, 2013

On the road, Pence vows to push tax cut ‘relentlessly’

INDIANAPOLIS — Having failed to convince state lawmakers in his own party to embrace his tax cut plan, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence is taking his message on the road.

At a press conference Wednesday, the Republican Pence said he was “burning up a lot of miles around Indiana” to convince Hoosiers that House Republicans are wrong to want to spend more money on roads and schools rather than pay for a 10 percent reduction in the state income tax – a key campaign promise he made last year.

Pence, repeating his oft-repeated phrase that he’s “very disappointed” that GOP lawmakers have so far rejected his tax-cut plan, said he’s going on the road to promote it “cheerfully, respectfully, and relentlessly.”

He said he’s been traveling the state “at a pretty brisk pace, talking to Hoosiers in diners and at dinners and at everywhere in between” about the tax cut that Republican legislators have called unsustainable.

Asked if he planned to start running TV ads to bring pressure on Republican legislators, Pence declined to answer specifically, though said he wouldn’t be spending any money raised for his transition into office on “a political activity.”

He also wouldn’t rule out the possibility of vetoing the budget bill if it didn’t contain his proposed tax cut, though said it was too early to speculate.

Pence’s comments came two days after Republicans who control the Indiana House passed a $30 billion, two-year budget that increases funding for transportation infrastructure and education by more than $520 million.

Missing from the House plan is what Pence has said is his number one priority: a reduction in Indiana’s individual income tax rate from 3.4 percent to 3.06 percent. It would reduce state revenues by $720 million in the first two years as it’s phased in, and $500 million a year after that.

Pence, citing the state’s $2 billion surplus, said he’s convinced the state can afford the revenue reductions that would result from his tax cut, even with the looming federal sequestration, the automatic budget cuts, set to hit ---FRIDAY -- March 1, that will reduce federal education, military and other payments to the state.

So far, Pence has failed to convince the Republican lawmakers who have super-majorities in both the House and Senate of the same.

House Democratic Leader Scott Pelath of Michigan City, whose caucus voted against the House budget bill because it didn’t include enough money for education, mocked the split between Pence and GOP lawmakers, saying the latter group was “ruining” the new governor’s “honeymoon.”

Meeting with reporters Wednesday morning, Pelath predicted Senate Republicans would try to make some kind of deal on the proposed tax cut as a way to “salvage the governor’s dignity.”

But Senate Republicans have also expressed their skepticism of the Pence plan; the chairmen of the Senate appropriations and the Senate tax and fiscal policy committee have both questioned whether the state could afford the long-term impact of the revenue reductions it would bring.

So Pence is out drumming up support for the plan with Hoosier voters, hoping they’ll put some pressure on their legislators.

Pence said his tax cut plan is getting a good reception from audiences around the state, though he complained that people didn’t know enough about its details.

As Pence told reporters Wednesday, he’s convinced that his tax cut plan will lead to more job creation by reducing the tax burden on small business owners and leaving more dollars in the pockets of working Hoosiers. Under the plan, the average Hoosier would see their tax burden reduced by about $100. A small business owner making $200,000 a year would see a reduction of about $1,000.

Senate Minority Leader Tim Lanane of Anderson questioned how successful Pence will be in trying to convince voters to pressure GOP lawmakers to trade off more dollars for schools and roads, for Pence’s tax cut.

Lanane said when he’s met with voters at public forums, they don’t support the tax cut: “They say, ‘We have better things to spend it on.”

Maureen Hayden covers the Statehouse for the CNHI newspapers in Indiana. She can be reached at maureen.hayden@indianamediagroup.com.

For more on this story and other local news, subscribe to The Pharos-Tribune eEdition, or our print edition

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Boy severely injured in crash out of ICU A boy involved in an all-terrain vehicle crash April 6 has left the intensive care unit and undergone what doctors and his family hope to be his final brain surgery. Kohle Wildrick, 12, a Galveston Elementary sixth-grade student, remains hospitalized

    April 24, 2014

  • Police blotter: April 25, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    April 24, 2014

  • NWS-PT042414 Princess Singing-MAK Fairy tale remix: Lewis Cass presents "Once Upon a Mattress" WALTON -- Barbra Burch played Queen Aggravain in Lewis Cass High School's 1985 production of "Once Upon a Mattress." Twenty-nine years later, she is directing the musical at the school. "It's kind of surreal," she said. "There are some things that ta

    April 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Indiana Packers opening Frankfort plant FRANKFORT -- Delphi-based Indiana Packers bought a former Birchwood Foods meat plant in Frankfort and plans to reopen it this summer. Indiana Packers, which employs 2,000 full time at its Delphi plant, is investing $2.28 million to purchase, renovate

    April 24, 2014

  • Minding the nutrition gap Almost one in five children in Cass County who sometimes don't have access to enough food for a healthy life aren't eligible for federal assistance programs designed to address that lack, a new study indicates. Feeding America's Map the Meal Gap proj

    April 24, 2014

  • Police blotter: April 23, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    April 23, 2014

  • Mall mortgage up for auction The mortgage note for the Logansport Mall is scheduled to be sold at auction early next month. Foreclosure procedures for the mall began when lawyers for Algonquin State Bank, N.A., out of Algonquin, Ill., filed a complaint against the mall's owner -

    April 23, 2014

  • NWS-PT042314 Earth Day4.jpg Being kind to their mother: Lewis Cass students plant trees on Earth Day WALTON -- Weeks of planning came together Tuesday as students planted 22 trees on the grounds of Lewis Cass Jr.-Sr. High School in observance of Earth Day. Amy Densborn, a science teacher at Lewis Cass, wanted to plant the trees so that students in s

    April 23, 2014 5 Photos

  • NWS-PT042314 Bags.jpg Students collect 2,475 pounds of plastic bags The Cass County Solid Waste Management District now knows to be careful what you ask for. The district opted to again this year host its plastic shopping bag contest for area elementary schools in observance of Earth Day. Overall, the district recei

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Inmate sues for religious services at Miami County prison BUNKER HILL – A Native American inmate is suing the Miami Correctional Facility for violating his constitutional religious freedom after the prison last year terminated Native American worship services. Daniel Littlepage says in a class action lawsui

    April 22, 2014

Featured Ads
More pharostribune.com
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Poll

Should mushroom hunters be allowed to forage off-trail in Indiana state parks?

Yes
No
Undecided
     View Results
eEdition