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January 14, 2014

PUBLIC FORUM: Pay attention to what's happening at the Statehouse

Pay attentionto what’s happening

It’s that time again when Indiana laws are being made. It’s important to be informed and to speak up with our legislators.

Gov. Mike Pence is promoting the elimination of a state tax on business equipment. The premise is that it will help increase new investment and creation of jobs by business. However, no definitive studies have been offered that provide unequivocal proof this would occur.

The current equipment tax generates more than $1 billion in revenue for local governments, schools and libraries. Larry DeBoer who analyzes state tax policy has said, “If those taxes are eliminated, about half the amount would shift to other taxpayers, and about half would be lost revenue to local governments. That’s what would happen, anyway, if the General Assembly made no other changes. Possible “other changes” will be the subject of debate.”

The Indianapolis Star has reported that if the tax were simply eliminated nearly 80 percent of Indiana homeowners could see their property taxes increase.

Lesley Weidenbener has offered the scenario of replacing the $1 billion business equipment tax with increased individual income tax. She includes an interactive Indiana county map that shows how each county would be affected since there is considerable variation among them.

These sources, with links, as well as the interactive map will be found at www.castoncomets.org.

Russ Phillips

Rochester

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