Business Tax Cut Part of End-of-Session Flurry

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Several business-related bills are headed to the desk of Governor Mike Pence now that this year's session of the General Assembly has adjourned. Lawmakers have passed a package that reduces corporate income and state banking taxes. It also includes an option for local governments to decide if they want to exempt some employers from the business personal property tax. The measure would also create a study commission to examine the state's overall tax structure. Our partners at WTHR-TV in Indianapolis report lawmakers also approved a preschool pilot program and several other measures. IndyPolitics.Org has summarized the main points to the business tax cut package and other bills that were passed Thursday.

You can view that list by clicking here.

March 13, 2014

News Release

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Indiana Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Kevin Brinegar comments on two key pieces of legislation passed by the Indiana General Assembly:

Business Personal Property Tax (Senate Bill 1)

"Positive movement on this issue has been a long time coming. Business personal property tax has been the one tax policy area in which we stand out negatively. Some states don’t tax it at all, and Indiana's rate is among the highest in the country.

"This legislation begins to offer relief to Indiana businesses and is a good initial step toward totally eliminating personal property tax in the future.

"The two local options [in the bill], which provide for the ability to exempt newly-acquired property outright or for small businesses, and the 'super abatement' [extending tax abatement from 10 to 20 years] will prove to be meaningful tools in attracting new business and jobs to the state.

"Looking ahead, the Blue Ribbon Commission will be a vital player in how far this goes and how quickly. That group will examine how we can go from today's legislation to total elimination down the road, while still ensuring that vital local government services are provided for. (The Indiana Chamber has a seat on the Blue Ribbon Commission.)

"The ultimate elimination of the state's business personal property tax is one of the goals in the Indiana Chamber's Indiana Vision 2025 economic development plan and is something we will continue to push for."

Preschool Pilot Program (House Bill 1004)

"Another study committee simply wasn't enough, so we are pleased to see a preschool pilot program added back into House Bill 1004. While we would have liked the pilot to be bigger and provide opportunities for more students in more counties, it still does allow us to gather real data to see the impact and how a permanent statewide preschool program might work one day.

"It's a positive step and helps put Indiana on the path to closing the state's growing preparation gap for students from lower income families. These students deserve to have the opportunity to start their education foundation on the right foot and be better prepared for the academic expectations that await them."

Having preschool opportunities available for more Hoosier children, specifically for those from disadvantaged backgrounds, is one of the goals in the Indiana Chamber's Indiana Vision 2025 economic development plan.

The Indiana Chamber partners with 15,000 members and investors - representing 2.6 million Hoosiers - to achieve the mission of "cultivating a world-class environment which provides economic opportunity and prosperity."

Source: Indiana Chamber of Commerce

March 14, 2014

Statement from Indy Chamber President and CEO Michael Huber

"As the 2014 session of the Indiana General Assembly comes to a close, the Indy Chamber is proud of the progress we have made to cultivate a stronger regional business climate. Our preparation last year and efforts over the last three months have paid off with several priority issues gaining favor, including final passage of SB176, the Central Indiana Transit bill. This initiative saw unprecedented progress this session, with legislators giving local officials, businesses and voters the choice to invest in expanded transit for our communities. This win is the result of decades of study and years of support from partners throughout the region. The Indy Chamber will continue to serve as the lead advocate for expanded transit, as it significantly impacts our ability to attract and retain top talent and provide increased access to jobs and healthcare.

"We also applaud the legislature's efforts to amend HJR-3 and create a $15 million early childhood education pilot program in HB1004. The Indy Chamber is pleased that consensus is building to expand access to early childhood education, which is critical to putting children on the path to success. This support comes just as we get set to lead a coalition of community organizations and leaders studying the economic impact of early childhood education in the Indianapolis region. On these and other issues, our legislature has made clear that our city and state continue to be the best places to live, work and do business.

"The final day of session also brought up to $400 million for new road construction in HB1002 and final passage of HB1321, which would allow Indianapolis Public Schools to partner with school management teams and charter organizers to establish innovative schools across the district.

"Next week, the Indy Chamber will release a comprehensive review of legislation relating to our priority issues and agenda items."

- Michael Huber, Indy Chamber President and CEO

About the Indy Chamber

The Indy Chamber is the voice of progress and improvement for the Indianapolis region's business community. With membership of nearly 3,000 businesses representing 230,000 employees in the Indianapolis region, the Indy Chamber is leading the effort to strengthen the business climate, improve the state of education, revitalize neighborhoods and enhance the region's workforce. In 2012, the Indy Chamber merged with Indy Partnership, Develop Indy, and Business Ownership Initiative. For more information about the Indy Chamber, visit IndyChamber.com.

Source: The Indy Chamber