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Indiana House Republicans' tax cuts eliminated by Senate committee

A Senate committee Tuesday gutted the House Republican tax cut package, eliminating every tax cut from the bill, HB 1002.

Senate Republicans have long expressed hesitance about the House GOP’s mix of business, utility and individual income tax cuts that will eventually cost the state more than $1 billion a year in revenue.

And so a Senate committee just took out all the cuts – without discussion or debate.

Groups who represent local governments and schools applauded the changes. Madison Mayor Bob Courtney said the tax cuts were a real threat to local government funding.

“The loss of revenue will have to be shifted to other, local property and income tax payers,” Courtney said.

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Business groups, however, lamented the removal of the tax cuts. Despite Indiana boasting one of the best business tax climates in the country, Indiana Chamber of Commerce Vice President Bill Waltz said it could be better.

“It’s an attempt to address some things that have been known to be kind of the few remaining black marks,” Waltz said.

Sen. Travis Holdman (R-Marke), the committee chair, said discussions on the bill’s future will continue and wouldn’t rule out some tax cut getting ultimately included.

All that's left in the bill are mostly provisions from Senate legislation. That includes language also in SB 1 that broadens the pool of people eligible for this year's automatic taxpayer refund and language from SB 390 that ends all local food and beverage taxes in the next 20 years and sets up a process to renew them and create new ones.

There's also new language that requires the Hoosier Lottery to get legislative authorization before expanding to online gaming.

Contact reporter Brandon at or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

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Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.