INDIANAPOLIS - The fight over state income taxes goes another round. The House Ways and Means Committee has eliminated the income tax cut sought by Gov. Mike Pence. The most powerful Republicans in the House disagree with the Republican governor.
Pence proposed a plan to cut the state income tax by 5 percent this year and 5 percent next year. However, the House budget put before the Ways and Means Committee uses the money for other priorities, like education
"I do know people are disappointed. Not everyone can have everything they needed, or wanted, or desired," said State Rep. Tim Brown (R-41).
The House bill got bi-partisan support locally with both Rep. Randy Truitt (R-26) and Rep. Sheila Klinker (D-27) voting yes.
"I know right now, the governor is not happy with it because it does not add the 10 percent cut. But, Representative Truitt and I have surveyed many of our people and they would, rather than having the cut, they would rather have those dollars go to education," said Klinker.
Overall, the committee voted 18-4 to replace the governor's budget with the new plan, with Klinker and another Democrat joining the Republicans.
The House budget has more money for schools and universities. Klinker said it's a good step toward improving Hoosier education.
"Education has taken such a back seat in the last few years and has really had a tough time keeping their teachers on staff and recruiting new teachers. So, I think it's a good step forward," said Klinker.
Klinker was the only committee member to mention the governor's tax cut Monday. She said she was glad GOP leaders left it out of their spending plan.
As for Pence, he said the battle isn't over just yet.
"We're going to continue to fight for a budget that lets Hoosiers keep more of their hard-earned tax dollars because I think that'll create jobs," said Pence.
The Ways and Means Committee will consider amendments to the budget Tuesday.
Klinker said an anti-bullying bill brought before the Education Committee was also passed Monday. She said the bill will be presented for a second reading on the House floor Tuesday.
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