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February 7, 2008

Property taxes, economic development highlight breakfast with the governor

More than 800 attend Thursday event

TERRE HAUTE — Posed with a question about his tax plan, Gov. Mitch Daniels interrupted before the questioner could finish.

The start of the question stated that governmental units in Vigo County collectively would receive about $11.4 million less by 2009 under a state law. Daniels cut in to say that the question must be reframed from a taxpayer’s viewpoint.

“That means [property] taxpayers in Vigo County are gaining more than $11 million. That means that some people in Vigo County are being taxed more than others …,” Daniels told a gathering of more than 800 businesspeople early Wednesday at Hulman Center on the campus of Indiana State University. The breakfast event was sponsored by the Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce.

“It is not about how much government believes it must have of your money, it is about how much should you be expected to pay” for government, Daniels said.

The governor spoke about economic development as well as a plan to reduce property taxes through increasing sales taxes, using state wagering taxes, creating a new homestead credit and local option income taxes.

Attracting jobs is a never-ending task, the governor said.

“It’s like we’re filling a bathtub with the stopper out. It is a dynamic and competitive economy. In a free economy in which the consumer is master, any point in time some jobs could be passing out” of the state, Daniels said.

“It is our job in state government to build the best environment possible to attract new investors … to build the best sandbox possible … to constantly add opportunities for companies” and the marketplace, he said

Rod Henry, president of the Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce, said the governor’s plan is a tax swap from property taxes to sales tax. The Chamber is concerned that the tax shift results in lowering a tax that is deductible at the federal level to a tax that is not deductible, resulting in businesses paying slightly more in federal taxes, Henry said.

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    March 12, 2010