Governor Mike Pence won’t pick between House and Senate proposals to reduce the business personal property tax, saying both can be improved but won’t publicly discuss specific ways to improve those plans.
The House proposal to reduce the business personal property tax would allow local governments to exempt the tax on new purchases. The Senate plan exempts the tax statewide on small businesses. Local officials say both plans will strain their already tight budgets.
Pence only repeats his refrain that the final product of business personal property tax reform should not unduly burden local governments without saying how he’d define that.
“I know you all want me to talk about detail. I know that, okay? But we’re involved in discussion and negotiations,” Pence said. “There will be compromise. And we are listening not just to members of the General Assembly but we are listening to our local mayors.”
A report from the Indiana Fiscal Policy Institute suggests the business personal property tax isn’t all that effective in convincing companies from outside the state to relocate. But Pence says it’s an issue he hears about when promoting Indiana.
“I mean, I can just tell you my own personal experience is it comes up a lot,” Pence said. “And it comes up, I’m sure, because our competitors to the east and the west and the north bring it up.”
Pence says 81 percent of new job commitments Indiana lost out on since 2011 went to states with no business personal property tax. But that number doesn’t include any other characteristics of the states to which Indiana is losing job opportunities.