Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Pence: It's All about Jobs Gubernatorial Hopeful Stumps on 2-Day Tour

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Pence: It's All about Jobs Gubernatorial Hopeful Stumps on 2-Day Tour

Article excerpt

GREENWOOD, Ind. - If he is elected Indiana's next governor this fall, U.S. Rep. Mike Pence, a Republican, hopes to make chopping taxes and business regulations the centerpiece of his job-creation efforts. Pence, starting a two-day "jobs tour" around the state Thursday, listed income and sales taxes, as well as property taxes collected on businesses' equipment, as items that "are all very much under active consideration" for cuts.

"Looking at how we can make Indiana more competitive, first in the Midwest, and then in the whole country in our tax code is an area of real emphasis for us," he said at the end of an event at Elona Biotechnologies, Inc., in Indianapolis.

Pence began his two-day tour, which included a stop Thursday afternoon in Evansville, at the pharmaceutical ingredient-maker located in an industrial park south of Indianapolis.

Though he did not offer specific proposals Thursday, Pence said his team of a dozen policy consultants is "taking the time necessary" to put together a set of initiatives he would push if he is elected governor.

"We've been working with now more than 250 policy experts and volunteers for the last six months, and we're putting the finishing touches on our jobs agenda," he said. "We're engaged in a very thorough process."

He said Elona executives told him the "business personal property tax" - that is, property taxes collected against the equipment they have on site - is particularly onerous.

The tax generated about $950 million for local governments across Indiana last year.

Pence said Indiana has an "all-of-the-above tax code," which results in the revenue to fund Indiana's $14 billion annual budget coming from a variety of sources.

"We're competing with states that have no income tax. We're competing with states that have a lower sales tax," he said.

Biggest among those sources are income taxes and sales tax, which combine to make up more than 80 percent of Indiana's tax collections.

During Fiscal Year 2011, $6.2 billion in sales taxes made up 47 percent of the state's revenue, and $4.6 billion in individual income taxes 35 percent. …

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