December 19, 2013

 

Last week, Governor Mike Pence announced his legislative agenda for 2014. The signature proposal in his “roadmap” is to eliminate a one billion dollar tax on corporations.

 

Indiana’s public schools would lose more than $390 million based on 2012 estimates if Pence gets his tax cut from the General Assembly.

 

Indiana schools have already lost $245 million in property tax revenue just last year due to property tax caps. The tax caps have cost Indiana schools more than $641 million the last three years.

 

Senate and House leaders are scrambling to deal with outraged local government and school officials whose budgets will be drastically impacted by the tax cut.

 

We are now hearing from Sen. Dennis Kruse, Senate Education Committee Chair, that cutting the homestead exemption is being considered as a solution to make up for the billion dollars in lost revenue.

 

The homestead exemption lowers homeowners’ tax bills in an effort to encourage homeownership as well as to prevent homeowners from being taxed out of their homes. The exemption cuts most homeowners’ property tax bills in half. Eliminating the homestead exemption would be an enormous tax increase and new burden on Indiana’s middle class.

 

Like our public schools, we believe that the middle class, who are the real drivers of our economy, have taken enough economic hits over the past several years from the Daniels and now Pence administrations. It is time for the Governor and legislators to stop balancing the state’s budget on the backs of our public schools, public service providers and the middle class.