Speaker Bosma expresses doubts about Pence tax cut plan

Governor Mike Pence (R-Indiana) wants a 10% cut in the state income tax.  But can the state afford it?  It’s a question being asked by GOP House Speaker Brian Bosma.  Leaders in the General Assembly gave the governor’s budget plan and the tax cut it contains a cool reception when he unveiled it Tuesday.  Thursday Speaker Bosma suggested the tax cut is unwise.

To cut taxes the Pence budget will give schools spending increases of just 1% and Speaker Bosma says that not enough.  “We’ll probably invest more in that direction,” he said.  In comments made in his Statehouse office Bosma also said the state needs to spend more on highway funding suggested there may be no middle ground between his position and the governor’s.  “It may be difficult to invest in all the critical needs we have before us and still accept the governor’s tax cut proposal,” he said.  “That doesn’t mean it’s off the table.”

Governor Pence, following the announcement of two new agency heads, said he thinks he can still sell his plan.  “We’re talking about the kind of tax relief that would affect more than 90% of business enterprises in our state,” he said.  “So, I’m excited about taking that case to the members of the General Assembly and to the people of Indiana.”

Bosma, meantime, is warning that a tax cut could lead to drastic spending cuts and possibly a tax hike in a few years.  “My job,” he said, “is going to be to assure taxpayers are protected not just for two years but for the long haul.”

It’s Republican versus Republican. but the governor has a bully pulpit that the Speaker can’t match and the best example will be the State of the State address on Tuesday.  Pence will be on statewide television making his case for the tax cut.

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