The Indiana House Monday approved a two-year, $30 billion budget its author says is fiscally responsible and funds the House GOP’s priorities. Democrats say the budget does nothing to help the middle class or create jobs.
The House budget contains $344 million in increased K through 12 education funding, $250 million a year in permanent, sustainable infrastructure funding and pays down some of the state’s long-term debt.
It does not include Governor Mike Pence’s proposed ten percent income tax cut, but Crawfordsville Republican Tim Brown, the budget’s author, says it does contain a tax cut: an acceleration of Indiana’s inheritance tax elimination.
“For those farmers out there who raised somebody to work at Eli Lilly, for those farmers out there who raised somebody to work on the auto line – that inheritance tax relief is there to transition that out for the next generation,” Brown says.
But House Minority Leader Scott Pelath says he does not understand why the inheritance tax was a priority. Like Pence, House Democrats proposed an income tax cut.
“Especially when you had the opportunity to support a middle class tax cut just last week, one that would help people now, not that would help a few in theory, over time,” Pelath says.
The budget passed 68-28 and now heads to the Senate.