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Lawmakers Approve Expansive Tax Measures During Special Session

Sen. Travis Holdman

Sen. Travis Holdman (R-Markle) says some Hoosier taxpayers would have seen tax increases without legislation approved during the special session. (Lauren Chapman/IPB News)

Lawmakers approved two substantial tax measures during Monday’s one-day special session.

Many of the provisions sought to conform state tax laws with major policy changes made by the recent federal tax reform bill – which Sen. Travis Holdman (R-Markle) says is part of what made a special session necessary.

“A lot of the deductions that are allowed at the federal level, if we did not couple in cases or decouple in many of those cases, we would see significant tax increases for local taxpayers,” Holdman says.

But Sen. Karen Tallian (D-Portage) says that picking-and-choosing Holdman mentions cost the state a lot of money.

“If we adopted all of the federal rules, we’d get a big windfall to the state revenue,” Tallian says.

One of the changes the legislature adopted – Hoosiers can now use some of their 529 college savings plan dollars to pay for K-12 school tuition.

Rep. Terri Austin (D-Anderson) says that’s fine but it really only helps those who send their children to private schools – and they already get a tax credit for those tuition payments.

“The vast majority of families who send their children to our public schools have significant expenses…but we’re not even acknowledging textbooks yet,” Austin says. “And so at some point, I think we’ve got to be fair.”

The tax measures passed overwhelmingly in both chambers.

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