Pence suggests phased-in tax cut

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Governor Mike Pence continues to insist on a 10 percent cut in the state income tax.  The governor's budget called for a lump sum tax cut in 2014.  But today he indicated that he might accept a tax cut that is phased in over a period of years.

Mike Pence unveiled his tax cut plan in a Chamber of Commerce speech last year. 

Wednesday he went back to the Chamber of Commerce to make what he called his "closing argument."  "Lowering income taxes across the board  by 10-percent will increase our GDP," he said, "it will increase personal income, it will bring new investment and jobs to Indiana."

Yet back at the Statehouse budget negotiators in the General Assembly are working on a 2-year spending plan that likely will include a tax cut smaller than 10 percent.  This is all that Conference Committee Chairman Tim Brown promised:  "Tax cuts that'll touch everyone in the state of Indiana."

Many lawmakers are more interested in cutting a different tax.  "And I'm especially appreciative of the effort both of you have made toward eliminating our state's inheritance tax," said Rep. Eric Turner (R-Cicero) while addressing House and Senate fiscal leaders.

Negotiations include proposed cuts in both the inheritance tax and the income tax.  It may mean that the governor must wait for a portion of his tax cut to take effect. 

"The details of how we do that, and when that's phased in and how that happens," said Pence following his speech, "we're all talking through."

The Pence tax cut carries a price tag of $500 million.  The governor says he also supports a cut in the inheritance tax but won't say if he's willing to support cuts that go beyond $500 million.

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