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Bosma Unveils 2014 Agenda, Targets Business Tax

Brandon Smith
Indiana Public Broadcasting

House Speaker Brian Bosma Wednesday proposed what he calls the “smart way” to reduce Indiana’s business personal property tax.  But the plan wouldn’t completely eliminate the tax.

Governor Mike Pence made elimination of the business personal property tax the cornerstone of his 2014 legislative agenda.  He stopped short, however, of identifying a specific way to get rid of the levy on business equipment that brings in a billion dollars a year to local governments. 

The House Republican plan Speaker Brian Bosma outlined would allow local governments to eliminate the tax on new purchases.

“Those counties that are heavily invested already in manufacturing and reliant on this source of revenue may wait and see how the chips fall so we actually are giving an incentive for those communities and counties that may not have heavy investment today to do so,” Bosma said.

House Minority Leader Scott Pelath applauded the GOP plan, saying Bosma has “given up” on the governor’s elimination proposal.

“It makes sense to not shift more of the tax burden onto homeowners, not have shortfalls for local governments so they have less police protection, less fire protection, less plowing,” Pelath said.

Bosma says his caucus may explore ways to replace lost revenue by giving local governments more flexibility in local income taxes.

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.
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