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Governor’s Tax Conference Criticized For Being One-Sided

Gov. Mike Pence says he is holding a conference in order to make the tax climate in Indiana more competitive.

Governor Pence is calling on hundreds of tax experts from across the state and country for advice.

Photo: House GOP (flickr)

Governor Pence is calling on hundreds of tax experts from across the state and country for advice.

Governor Mike Pence is convening a tax conference in Indianapolis this week that he says will bring together leading tax reform thinkers to focus on making Indiana’s tax climate more competitive.

The Indiana Tax Competitiveness and Simplification Conference will feature more than 200 national and local tax experts in an effort to develop recommendations for the Pence administration and General Assembly.

Speakers include noted economist Arthur Laffer, anti-tax activist Grover Norquist, and Mark Everson, former IRS Commissioner under President George W. Bush, and that has led some to criticize the conference for leaning too far to the conservative end of the political spectrum. 

House Minority Leader Scott Pelath says he’s more worried that the general public is being left out of the discussion.

“Middle class incomes, flagging wages, shrinking per capita income – these are the types of economic problems we need to be addressing and not just ways to try to get more power and more money into the hands of the right people.  It’s my fear that this is what this so-called conference is going to be all about,” says Pelath.

But Governor Pence says he welcomes input from all corners.

“I want to see low taxes; I want to see less regulation.  I mean, I’m a conservative.  But we’ve brought together a range of thought leaders in this area, with really the focus on the competitiveness,” says Pence.

The general public cannot attend the conference, though all sessions will be video-recorded and posted online.  The state is also welcoming public comment on the Department of Revenue website.

Public comment submission forms can be found on the Department of Revenue’s website.

Brandon Smith, IPBS

Brandon Smith, IPBS has previously worked as a reporter and anchor for KBIA Radio in Columbia, MO, and at WSPY Radio in Plano, IL as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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  • aussie

    given that these economists are rarely if ever allowed to make serious comments on tax reforms in the corporate mass media this conference has gone a small way to rebalancing this debate.

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