Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

State News

March 8, 2013

Tea party group to launch campaign to support Pence tax cut



INDIANAPOLIS – The intra-party fight over Republican Gov. Mike Pence’s controversial tax cut proposal is escalating.

At a press conference at the Statehouse Thursday, a conservative tea-party organization founded by the billionaire Koch brothers announced it was pouring money into a statewide campaign to pressure Republican lawmakers into giving Pence what he wants: a 10 percent cut in the state income tax rate.

Chase Downham, state director for Americans for Prosperity, said his organization will spend a “six figure” amount on TV, radio and online ad buys, in an attempt to get voters to turn up the heat on GOP legislators who’ve rejected the Pence plan.

“We believe this tax cut is absolutely critical,” Downham said.

The organization, founded and funded by Charles and David Koch, has spent millions of dollars trying to defeat Democrat candidates; it will now be spending its money going after the Republicans who control the Indiana General Assembly.

Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma defended the House budget bill that rejects Pence’s proposed cut, which would cost the state about $500 million in revenues each year. The House plan, crafted by GOP legislators, instead spends that money on

schools and road repairs.

Bosma, who’s been an ally of the Americans for Prosperity in the past, said he wouldn’t be pressured into backing off what he sees as critical investments for the state’s long-term economic health.

“You’re looking at a guy who’s had death threats, people camped on my front door…” Bosma said, referring to a past fight over the contentious “right to work” bill passed last year. “So my focus will be on making the right decisions for the State of Indiana.”

Bosma said he and Senate leaders are still open to considering the tax cut if the state’s revenue forecast, due in April, projects significantly more revenues. But he also took a veiled dig at Pence, who made the tax cut his signature campaign promise last year, without consulting Republican legislative leaders.

“We’ve said many times here, our goal is to do the right thing for the citizens of the state,” Bosma said. “It’s easy to bang a ‘Hey, let’s cut taxes drum.’ But you’ve got to be sure it’s a smart cut, it’s sustainable in the long run, not (just) in an election cycle. That’s our goal.”

The announcement by the Americans for Prosperity came as the Senate appropriations committee started hearings on the House budget bill. Senate leaders, like their GOP counterparts in the House, have expressed little support for the Pence tax cut.

Pence has taken a similar tactic as the AFP. Since failing to lock down the legislative support he needs for the tax cut, he’s taken his pitch on the road to urge voters to pressure their legislators to support his plan.

In a speech to the Vigo County Chamber of Commerce Thursday, Pence stuck tightly to an oft-repeated script that paints the tax cut as a job-creator and economic development tool. Pence argued the state, which has a $2 billion surplus, can afford the tax cut.

“First and foremost, I don’t think government should ever collect more money

than it needs to operate,” Pence said. “And when it is set to collect more than it needs, it ought to find ways to permanently reduce the tax burden.”

The tug-of-war between Pence and GOP legislative leaders has been escalating in recent weeks. As Pence has tried to work around them, they’ve pushed back.

Bosma recently sent a letter to GOP county chairmen, saying neither he nor Senate President David Long are convinced the tax cut is sustainable. In it, Bosma describes the property and income tax cuts enacted after Indiana built a $2 billion surplus in 1998 led to a $1.3 billion deficit six years later, resulting in  “painful and difficult” budget cuts.

 

Maureen Hayden covers the Statehouse for the CNHI newspapers in Indiana. She can be reached at maureen.hayden@indianamediagroup.com

1
Text Only
State News
  • One weekend, three motorcycling events Motorcyclists can come hang out with thousands of other bikers at the Midwest’s biggest street party Friday-Saturday, Aug. 8-9, when Motorcycles on Meridian takes place. During certain periods, locks of Indianapolis’ major north-south thoroughfare wi

    July 29, 2014

  • IDNR hosts live Facebook chat on Wednesday Facebook followers of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources can “talk” online with ecologist Tom Swinford about fens and bogs Wednesday, July 30, from 2-3 p.m. on the DNR’s Facebook wall.Swinford will discuss what fens and bogs are, where they

    July 29, 2014

  • nws - bv072914 - JailMentallyill Indiana's broken mental health system taxes Howard County jail Editor’s note: People suffering from mental illness commit fewer than 4 percent of all violent crimes. But state cuts in mental health funding have limited opportunities for treatment before some people wind up on the wrong side of the law. Recently

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • nws - bv071814 - Hogsett, Joe What is Hogsett's next move? Political speculation abounds after Joe Hogsett’s announcement Monday, July 14, that he’ll resign his U.S. attorney’s position at the end of the month.Hogsett issued a public statement after first informing his boss, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Secular celebrants may perform marriages

    Today the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit found that the exclusion of certified secular humanist celebrants from the list of people who can solemnize marriages in Indiana was unconstitutional.

    July 14, 2014

  • Indiana's same-sex marriage ban struck down

    June 25, 2014

  • Indiana producers help with biofuels initiative Agriculture Deputy Undersecretary Doug O'Brien recently announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture is making nearly $60 million in payments to 195 producers to support the production of advanced biofuel. Seven Indiana producers received these

    May 9, 2014

  • $400 million will be spent on Hoosier highways Gov. Mike Pence directed the Indiana State Budget Agency to recently release funding for the Major Moves 2020 highway construction program. "Roads mean jobs, and Major Moves 2020 will improve Indiana's transportation infrastructure to enhance our po

    May 2, 2014

  • Changes could ease some penalties INDIANAPOLIS - Patrons of the B-52 Pik-Up convenience store and tackle shop near the popular state-owned Brookville Lake may welcome news that tough penalties for violating some outdoor recreation rules are going away. Some crimes - such as sounding

    April 22, 2014

  • Each day of Public Health Week has a focus

    April 7 kicks off the 19th annual observance of National Public Health Week in America.

    April 7, 2014

Featured Ads
AP Video
Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando
Seasonal Content
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Facebook