Second half of session underway



We have just crossed over the midway point of session for this year. Bills passed out of the House have now been sent to the Senate for their consideration and vice versa. After finishing the bills in our respective chambers, the Legislature took a brief sabbatical before considering the opposite chamber’s bills.

Those few days off are very comparable to the halftime period of a sports game, during which, both chambers reflect on what has taken place in the first half and look forward to the home stretch. The signature achievement of the first half of session was the House passing the state’s biennial budget.

The House is constitutionally obligated to pass a biennial budget, and I am very supportive of our funding priorities. First and foremost, it is structurally balanced ensuring debt isn’t a burden on taxpayers. Our state government will spend less than what it takes in. We are maintaining $2 billion in reserves and the state’s triple-A credit rating. Most importantly, I support our budget because it protects taxpayers.

The Legislature has a long history of protecting taxpayers. Since 1995, the Legislature has reduced taxes 16 times.

1995/1996: Auto excise tax cut by 50 percent
1996: Property tax cut
1997: Property tax cut
1997: Income tax cut
1999: Property tax cut
2002: Property tax cut
2002: Corporate gross income tax repealed
2004: Inventory tax phased out over the next 3 years
2005: Eliminated the sales tax on research and
development equipment
2006: Streamlined and reduced in-state corporate
income taxes
2006: Property tax cut
2007: Property tax cut
2008: Largest property tax cut in the state’s history
2011: Passed the Automatic Taxpayer Refund
2011: Cut the corporate income tax by 25%
over 4 years
2012: Death tax phased out over 9 years
This year is no different. The budget we passed in the House accelerates the phase-out of the death tax, also known as the inheritance tax, by four years. This accelerated phase-out will save Hoosiers nearly $300 million; a savings that greatly benefits family farms and small businesses.

During the second half of session, our commitment to protect Hoosier taxpayers will still be a top priority. Particularly during this period of economic uncertainty in America, we believe it is important to put Indiana in the best possible fiscal standing.

Our prudent, conservative approach to crafting the House budget brings both long and short term benefits. While alternative proposals focus solely on the short term, we feel that Indiana would be better served by taking a glance at the bigger picture when considering economic circumstances down the road. By keeping state spending lower than state revenue and providing tax relief in the form of the accelerated death tax phase-out, our House budget will protect Hoosier families for years to come.