Proposed bills could be heading for delay


TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – The second of Governor Mike Pence’s major legislative goals could hit a major stumbling block.

First, the proposed gay marriage ban will not go to a referendum this fall, as advocates had hoped.

Now, Pence’s plan to eliminate the business personal property tax could be headed for a delay.

Both the Indiana House and Senate passed bills pertaining to the business personal property tax. Those bills are now in a conference committee, who will try to hammer out a compromise between the two.

Representative Clyde Kersey and Senator Tim Skinner say there’s a chance this issue may have to wait until next year.

“We are getting the vibe that there are some in leadership who want to put this into a summer study committee, which would be great. It’s a huge issue that has a huge impact,” Sen. Skinner said.

The issue, mayors from all over Indiana have testified to lawmakers about the disastrous impacts a repeal of the business personal property tax would have on their cities.

This includes Terre Haute Mayor Duke Bennett, who said a repeal would force layoffs of city police officers and firefighters.

“That’s how government is supposed to work. You come in and talk about the issue, you get the opposite side of the issue, and then you adjust the bill,” Representative Clyde Kersey said.

Kersey says the opposition provided by Bennett and other mayors have opened the eyes of lawmakers, who see the good of repealing the tax, but may not have realized its negative impact on cities.

By putting this bill in a summer study committee, both men say this allows lawmakers the time to see if there’s a way to repeal the tax and help Hoosier businesses while not strapping cities and towns, or passing the burden to individual Hoosiers.

“I think the mayors across the state have done a really good job. They’ve come out in force, republicans and democrats alike. It’s not a party issue, it’s a public service issue,” Kersey said.

Much like gay marriage, the discussion on the business personal property tax may live to see another legislative session, if lawmakers so choose to bring up one or both, or neither.

Whether the issue goes before a summer study committee has yet to be determined.

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