Black Top Prices Ought To Be The Lowest Ever!
By City County Observer StateHouse Editor, Gail Riecken
Well, the 2018 Special Session of the Indiana General Assembly happened today. Legislators voted and passed the following bills.
HEA1230 is an “advance” of monies for a school security program. I understand why this particular bill was taken at this time instead of waiting for a regular budget allocation session, but it could have been addressed retroactively, as all the bills could.
I also don’t understand why the next bill had to be passed now. Not only does HEA1242 include the law that is a huge impact on the state budget and should be held until the next regular budget session, but the bill is an alphabet soup of issues that aren’t all clear.
HEA1242 has a number of changes to the tax law, not the least of which is an exemption of certain purchases of hot mix asphalt companies from the state 7% sales tax. The Fiscal Note attached to the bill states that an “indeterminable, but significant impact on sales tax revenue” will result as of this bill.
As an example, if the “114 Hoosier [asphalt] businesses each purchased one asphalt truck at an average of $60,000 and one paver at an average of $100,000 every year, the sales tax revenue loss from the exemptions for trucks and pavers could be approx. $1.3 million [each year].” This does not include figuring the loss of sales tax revenue for supplies, etc. for the manufacturing machinery used for direct use-production of hot mix.
In addition, the $1.3 million does not include revenue losses from exempting fuel and repair parts for trucks, pavers, and equipment – data that is not available. Benchmark estimates by Legislative Services put that at a loss of $2.3million to the state coffers (99% of which goes to the General Fund, so most of the revenue loss would go to the General Fund). Here is the text in the bill. https://iga.in.gov/static-documents/9/d/3/5/9d357092/exhibit_2110.pdf, pg 4.
The next bill, HEA1315, has proven to be the emotionally charged, controversial issue that some say was the other reason the Governor and majority party called the legislators back to Indianapolis.
HEA1315 establishes a system to evaluate the financial condition of school corporations for corrective action. There are specific carve-outs for Muncie and Gary schools in this bill. The State is taking over the control of these schools. To a lot of folks, myself included, this is philosophically unacceptable.
The next bill, HEA1316, concerns various tax credit issues which the Fiscal Note from the non-biased Legislative Services says have varied impacts on state and local coffers. And finally…
HB1457 concerns various technical corrections.
This special session was a history lesson for all of us to remember. If I learned anything, it is that asphalt companies should be giving Hoosier governments special price breaks and the concept of locally elected school boards now has a limited life in Indiana.