The big battle at the state capitol this session was all about the money.
Governor Mike Pence is toasting victory as he touts his tax cuts and a balanced budget which he says are important to the health of the Hoosier state in this tough economy.
“It’s an honestly balanced budget,” said Governor Pence. “We show surpluses in excess of $100 million in each of the two years through fiscal ‘14 and fiscal ‘15.”
The budget also includes the largest state tax cut in Indiana history.
“More than $600 million a year when it’s fully implemented with a combination income tax relief, inheritance tax repeal and other business tax reductions,” he said.
The governor said it’s the right cuts at the right time. But, Governor Pence really wanted a 10 percent cut in income tax. Now, Democrats said the 5 percent income tax cut phased in over four years is not deep enough to help the middle class.
“Basically they told the middle class they can live without revenues that are necessary to help them and those revenues will just dissipate,” said House Minority Leader Scott Pelath, D-District 9.
“Maybe two years down the road an extra buck a week in their pocket – that’s pathetic. That’s pathetic.”
But the Republicans have a super-majority and the speaker of the House said Indiana made a bold move with tax cuts that will bring jobs and secure the economy.
“The mere fact that we’re cutting income taxes in a substantive way I think is going to make us stick out from the rest of the crowd while we’re not covering that cut with other tax increases,” said Republican Speaker Brian Bosma. “That’s what’s happing elsewhere.”