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Pence Push for Sales Tax Exemption Falls Flat

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Governor Mike Pence says he still hopes to alter a major sales tax exemption for Hoosier businesses after House lawmakers stripped out a change to the exemption from the governor’s tax legislation.

One of the biggest pieces of Governor Pence’s tax simplification bill was the elimination of what’s called the “double direct” test for determining business sales tax exemptions.  The double direct test is a very specific metric for determining what items are exempt from the sales tax. 

Pence sought to broaden it, allowing businesses to avoid the tax on more things.  But legislative fiscal analysts projected a revenue loss that topped two hundred million dollars a year…a price tag that forced lawmakers to reject the idea in committee.  Pence says he hasn’t given up on the concept.

“This leads to a lot of disputes and we can make it easier on taxpayers,” Pence said.

Speaker Brian Bosma says legislative leaders made it clear before the legislative session even began that this was not the time for big tax cuts.

“So, we’re still looking at the issue but it is…the larger the price, the tougher it is to reach the goal,” Bosma said.

Pence says the tax simplification bill would be a major accomplishment even without eliminating the double direct test.

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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