News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Opinion

February 8, 2014

EDITORIAL: More time needed to study impact of additional tax cuts

Depleting local funds a serious drawback

TERRE HAUTE — Hoosiers deserve a definition of “unduly harm” from Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.

The governor wants the state’s business personal property tax eliminated. He contends that it deters businesses from locating in Indiana. Apparently, some are choosing to set up shop instead in neighboring states that abandoned such taxes on equipment — even Illinois, which Pence’s secretary of commerce described last week as “one of the worst states in the country for doing business and getting worse.”

There are complications, though. The equipment tax generates $1 billion a year to fund cities, counties, schools and libraries. The governor has acknowledged the concerns of local officials, who have already trimmed staffs and public services after caps on property taxes, enacted in 2008, substantially reduced their revenue. The caps were written into the Indiana Constitution at the urging of former Gov. Mitch Daniels. If Pence’s desire to add the equipment tax to the extensive list of fiscal reforms, the most basic services in Hoosier communities may cease to be basic.

Pence has repeatedly reassured mayors and school district officials he does not want repeal of the tax to cause “undue harm” to local entities. Two bills in the current session of the General Assembly would phase out the equipment tax, rather than immediately eliminating it. But neither proposal — one in the House and another in the Senate — establishes replacement revenue for the $1 billion of local funding.

Mayors from six large cities, including Terre Haute’s Duke Bennett, met with Pence last week and tried to get him to explain how the revenue would be replaced. He did not, according to a story published Friday from CNHI statehouse reporter Maureen Hayden.

In a news conference Thursday, Pence said he is negotiating with legislators on the issue and doesn’t “want to negotiate this in public.”

The concerns of the mayors got some affirmation from a study conducted by the nonpartisan Indiana Fiscal Policy Institute. The research concluded that repeal of the equipment tax would have only a small effect on out-of-state businesses seeking to relocate. The report also found that the 2008 property-tax caps will reduce funding for police and fire protection, school buses and public services by $800 million next year. The losses from the elimination of the equipment tax would come on top of that.

The burden of replacing the revenue would fall on property owners, average Hoosiers.

The report verifies that tax cuts reduce business expenses, boost profits and can encourage relocations to Indiana and investments. But it adds, tax cuts “are most effective where the loss of tax revenue to governments does not reduce public services, especially on highways, police and fire protection, and perhaps education.”

The intention to ease undue burdens on businesses and corporations generally makes financial sense. That relief should not simply move the burden to homeowners, many of whom work at those businesses. Nor should that corporate and business tax relief deplete the already tenuous ability for local communities to maintain a basic quality of life for their residents — an undue harm.

The concept of repealing the business personal property tax should go to a summer study committee of the Legislature. The impact of rushing it into reality is unclear and troublesome. The governor and lawmakers need to slow down.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • EDITORIAL: Get smart with 911

    Worst-case scenarios when emergency service are needed are not things people like to think about. But focused attention on details in advance could make a life-changing, even life-saving, difference in the future.

    April 17, 2014

  • FLASHPOINT: Heading in the wrong direction

    A study released last week by the Tax Foundation reported Indiana taxpayers saw one of the sharpest increases in tax burden since 2001. Dig deeper and the numbers are more alarming.

    April 17, 2014

  • Ronn Mott.jpg RONN MOTT: They didn’t make it!

    The “One and Dones” done went and didn’t! (I know this is grammatically incorrect, but I want those folks down in Kentucky to read it.)

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • tstribunestar EDITORIAL: Dealing with eroded trust

    Our neighbors in Putnam County are understandably concerned, even outraged, over problems in their sheriff’s department. People have a right to expect their chief law-enforcement agency — one of the most important public institutions in any community — to operate professionally and effectively.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Readers’ Forum: April 17, 2014

    • A blessing from our young folks

    • Confidence in judge candidate

    April 16, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Preparing for voting changes

    The primary election, during which Hoosiers will traipse to their polling places to select party candidates to fill the ballot for the general election, is now three weeks away.

    April 15, 2014

  • Readers’ forum: April 16, 2014

    • Mott’s rant on global warming

    • Salvation through the Indian way

    April 15, 2014

  • Ronn Mott.jpg RONN MOTT: Royce Waltman

    In recent days the papers have been full of good things about Royce Waltman. Not a lot of puffery, but more like Royce himself… straight, true and right at you.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • LIZ CIANCONE: Not much peace since war to end all wars

    My jaw dropped the other day when I read that this year, 2014, marks 100 years since the start of World War I. No, you wise guys, I wasn’t there personally.

    April 14, 2014

  • Readers’ Forum: April 15, 2014

    Sound choice for county judge
    Giving your car the care it needs
    Park restrooms should be open

    April 14, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Noteworthy in the news (Honors for outstanding women)

    Honors for outstanding women
    Sprucing up around the wetlands
    You can say that again
    Reader Poll results

    April 13, 2014

  • Readers’ Forum: April 14, 2014

    Alternatives to ‘injustice’

    April 13, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Teaming up to fight the ugliness of graffiti

    Graffiti hurts the Terre Haute community. It deflates property values and local pride. It literally paints an image of carelessness on the city.

    April 12, 2014

  • MARK BENNETT: It’s (Not) So Easy

    Arctic air bled into the Wabash Avenue post-hippie-era diner-pub every time the wooden door swung open.

    April 12, 2014

  • ERIC SCHANSBERG: The 1040 tax form turns 100

    The 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution brought us the federal income tax in 1913. A year later, the 1040 tax form was born.

    April 12, 2014

  • Readers’ Forum: April 13, 2014

    • An attack of hypocrisy

    • New jail not a good idea

    • Thinking about the next election

    • Being positive a tremendous asset

    • Work status a matter of value

    April 12, 2014

  • FLASHPOINT: Time to fix government

    In 1965, the chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee, Wilbur Mills, brought legislation establishing Medicare and Medicaid to the floor of the U.S. House. That was my first year in Congress, and I remember vividly the moment when Mills came to the Democratic caucus to explain his plans.

    April 12, 2014

  • Death Notice: April 13, 2014

    Phillip Herman

    April 12, 2014

  • GUEST EDITORIAL: Despite high court ruling, big money may not guarantee election success

    The Supreme Court has taken the predictable next step in the wake of its 2010 Citizens United decision in which it lifted the limit on donations wealthy donors can make to certain political entities.

    April 11, 2014

  • RONN MOTT: Pondering our planet’s future

    I watched a TV show recently and the subject was global warming.

    April 11, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Warm thoughts for Waltman

    When Royce Waltman left Indiana State University as its head basketball coach in 2007, there was a sense of disappointment in the community that covered a broad spectrum.

    April 11, 2014

  • Readers' Forum: April 11, 2014

    • An appeal for organic farming

    • Kesler best choice for judge position

    April 11, 2014

  • RONN MOTT: Bits & Pieces

    I don’t know about you, but I get a total sense of helplessness when I realize 239 people died in one airplane crash. And to make it worse, if that is possible, the loved ones left behind can’t close. Maybe this week.

    April 10, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Road work season requires motorists’ undivided attention

    Spring’s budding flowers, trees and grasses are not the only colorful eye candy popping up on the west-central Indiana landscape. Those orange barrels and pylons common to construction areas are appearing as well.

    April 9, 2014

  • Readers' Forum: April 10, 2014

    • Appreciation for writer’s views

    • Amazed by policy on birth control

    April 9, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Dangers lurking among us

    Hardly a week goes by without multiple stories being published in this newspaper detailing the arrests, court proceedings, convictions or sentencings of individuals involved in sex crimes against children or young teens. It’s a disturbing trend that underscores the ever-present dangers that exist where we may least expect them.

    April 9, 2014 1 Story

  • Readers' Forum: April 9, 2014

    April 9, 2014

  • Ronn Mott.jpg RONN MOTT: Basketball and Done

    I guess I’m going to have to change my mind about the “One and Done” rule. It would seem the future professionals wearing university uniforms — national runner-up Kentucky is an example — has proven me a fool. Why should I care about the education they are getting, or not getting?

    April 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • LIZ CIANCONE: Angling for a mate not fond of fishing

    While many little girls daydream about the dream man they hope to find, it seems to me that they concentrate on all the wrong things. I can’t discount the appeal of beauty, brains and virtue, but my dream man was one who was not dedicated to fishing.

    April 7, 2014

  • Readers’ Forum: April 8, 2014

    Tracking the trail of thieves
    Friendly service at local store
    New voice for judicial system
    Movie strikes a proper balance

    April 7, 2014

Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Malaysia Plane: Ocean Floor Images 'Very Clear' Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Today in History for April 18th Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Chelsea Clinton Is Pregnant Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Two Lucky Kids Get Ride in Popemobile Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Raw: Bulgarian Monastery Dyes 5000 Easter Eggs Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Author Gabriel Garcia Marquez Dead at 87
NDN Video
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.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity