Pence Plan Could Phase Out Business Personal Property Tax

Governor Pence is starting to publicly suggest options for phasing out the state’s business personal property tax, the tent pole of his 2014 legislative agenda.

Governor Mike Pence

Photo: Courtesy of the Office of the Governor

Governor Mike Pence vetoed a bill that would raise the income tax in Jackson and Pulaski counties retroactively.

Pence has been vague on specifics up to now about his plans to phase out the state’s business personal property tax, saying he wants to allow the broadest range of debate in the legislature. But the governor Tuesday publicly discussed a few options for phasing out the personal property tax, a levy that generates one billion dollars a year for local governments.

One suggestion House Speaker Brian Bosma also mentioned last month would allow county governments to voluntarily eliminate the tax. Another route gradually phases out the tax by exempting new purchases. And Pence says Indiana could also look to its northern neighbor, Michigan, which is currently phasing out its personal property tax.

“Beginning by exempting personal property purchases up to a specific level and then phasing it out incrementally until all personal property tax is exempt by the year 2024,” says Pence.

Indianapolis Republican Senator Jim Merritt says the legislature has a record of not engaging with local governments on issues.

“We need to do a really good job on allowing the local governments the ability to fund themselves in a different way because this is going to be a real hole in their pocket,” Merritt says. “We need input from them.”

Merritt says he thinks finding the right balance will take more than one session.

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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  • dave.lefevre

    Pence has no care for the people in Indiana at all. It’s all about how he can kowtow to his corporate buddies. There is no balance.

  • Ken Bagwell

    Do you realize how many small businesses there are in Indiana?
    These companies employ people. These companies grow the economy.
    Pence is trying to balance the anti-business, anti-job policies from Washington.

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  • Jean Sloan

    And just how the hell is the local government supposed to pay for the services we, as taxpayers, have a right to expect? Do large cities go to volunteer fire fighters? Shall we no longer expect our town to have street lights? Or police departments?
    This continued removal of the revenue required to operate is insane. Pence and his ilk worship at the alter of the all mighty dollar. This hypocrite would wither under the gaze of Jesus for his treatment of the poor in this state. We are everywhere. This country came real close to ending poverty. Sadly, that all changed in 1981… but that is for another time.

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