Governor tax cut not dead yet

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Governor Mike Pence's plan for a 10 percent cut in the state income tax is nowhere in sight as the state Senate takes up consideration of the state budget. 

The tax cut can be revived but both Republicans and Democrats show little interest even as Governor Pence continues to express optimism.

Governor Pence signed a bill into law for the first time in a Statehouse ceremony.  It gives farmers a break on their property taxes. 

"The first bill I signed was a tax cut," said Pence as a group of farmers applauded. "I look forward to signing more."

But the applause may be tougher to come by as Pence seeks to convince fellow Republicans in the state Senate to resurrect the tax cut eliminated in the Indiana House. 

He says he has a guarantee. 

"That an income tax cut is very much under consideration," he said, "and will be given a fair hearing and a fair opportunity as budget negotiations go forward."

But that's all. Democrats are surprised. 

"I've never seen the idea of a tax cut have less enthusiasm in the Indiana Senate," said Senate Minority Leader Tim Lanane, "than I have with this one." 

And Republicans are skeptical. 

"We remain very, very, very concerned about some costs that are coming down the road in the Obamacare, in particular," said Senate GOP Leader David Long, "costs continue to shake us."

Many Republicans believe the 3.4 percent income tax is low enough already. 

"A tax cut is appropriate," said House Speaker Brian Bosma. "The question is which tax, when and how much?"

But the governor still has a bully pulpit and super majorities in the General Assembly.  House Minority Leader Scott Pelath says, "They've gotta bail this governor out somehow."

So far, almost no one is trying.


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Indiana politics enter a new era as MIke Pence prepares to take over as the next governor.
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