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[R67] Successful Session Comes to a Close
Start Date: 3/14/2014Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 3/14/2014
Entry Description
Leadership is about setting a vision and benchmarking goals. I was pleased that the House Republican caucus set the right tone for this session and successfully accomplished our goals that we laid out in January. We set our sights on the business personal property tax, funding for roads, bridging the skills gap, preschool education and reducing government regulation. 

With the business personal property tax (BPPT), Indiana is an outlier on this issue, having the highest business personal property tax rate in the Midwest. We also recognized however that simply removing the tax could have serious consequences to some of our local governments. That’s why we proposed giving counties options to eliminate the business personal property tax on new investments.  

The bill that passed includes other tax reforms like phasing down the corporate income and financial institution tax rates to 4.9 percent; the state’s corporate income tax rate would be the second lowest in the country once fully phased in. All of these reforms are meant to give counties more options to attract businesses and jobs to their community. 

Being business-friendly is not just about taxes though, it’s also having a very closely connected infrastructure system that is highly functional. In Indiana, 1.7 million jobs depend on transportation in industries such as tourism, retail sales and agriculture. That’s why the House passed House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1002 to provide up to $400 million in additional funding for state highway construction projects. Our state’s focus on fiscal integrity allowed us to prudently allocate these additional funds now, supporting thousands of Hoosier jobs.

Structure is only the first step when it comes to job creation – a workforce is also key. More than 930,000 Hoosiers lack the most basic job skills needed for today’s economy. HEA 1003 provides additional incentives to employers who partner with education institutions to provide internships in high wage, high demand jobs.  Many Hoosier corporations have noted that a strong educational start helps in addressing future educational needs. Children who aren’t ready for kindergarten are half as likely to read proficiently by third grade, and children who aren’t reading proficiently by third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school. 

This is a problem in Indiana because we are one of only 10 states without a state-funded preschool education system. This makes it extremely challenging, and often impossible, for Hoosier families that are facing hard times to send their children to preschool. We championed HEA 1004 which creates a pilot preschool program. The program will be limited to families who earn 127 percent of the poverty level or less, and children in the program must attend a high-quality preschool. Thanks to this innovative solution, more Hoosier children will have access to quality preschool education than ever before.  

While it is important for the legislature to pass new laws and statutes dealing with current problems, we sometimes neglect another important responsibility of the legislature – to review duplicative code and unnecessary government restrictions that may have been enacted previously. HEA 1005 addresses this by removing duplicative code and works to alleviate Hoosier citizens and businesses from burdensome regulations. 

This session has been one of tremendous success, and I look forward to building upon this progress next session. I appreciate all of your feedback and contact on many of these issues, and I look forward to being back in our district during the interim. 

-30-
Contact Information:
Name: Courtney Scott
Phone: 317-234-9006
Email: Courtney.Scott@iga.in.gov
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  • Agency Name
    House of Representatives Republican Caucus

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