Governor Mike Pence’s 2014 legislative agenda is full of proposals that would increase spending while curtailing state tax revenues heading into a non-budget session of the General Assembly. That agenda includes a phase-out of the state’s business personal property tax.
While speaking on a panel just a short time before Governor Pence unveiled his legislative agenda, House Ways and Means chair Tim Brown said the message of the upcoming session is, “No opening of the budget.”
Yet Pence’s 2014 Roadmap includes several proposals that would either require new state spending or weaken the flow of revenue into state coffers. Pence says his philosophy is that a rising tide lifts all boats.
Pence says “we’ve seen unemployment drop in the state of Indiana. More than 21 thousand jobs have been added since we took office in the last ten months. So continuing to promote policies that will encourage investment and jobs will also impact the resources that the state of Indiana has.”
A prime example of this philosophy is Pence’s proposal to phase out the business personal property tax. Eliminating that tax would cut off about a billion dollars per year to local communities. But Pence calls it a disadvantage in the state’s competition for jobs and investment. And he says he will discuss with the legislature ways to replace the money local communities will lose.