SENATE JOBS BILL WOULD MAKE INDIANA EVEN MORE ATTRACTIVE TO EMPLOYERS
by State Sen. David Long (R-Fort Wayne)
Senate Republicans are introducing legislation this session to make Indiana even more attractive to employers. Our plan is simple: foster the creation of private sector jobs by lowering Indiana’s income taxes on employers.
Indiana is already attractive to potential and existing employers, because of our relatively low cost of doing business, dedicated workforce, excellent universities and comparatively low property and individual income taxes. But one element is out of sync with the rest – the corporate tax rate.
Senate Bill 589 would modernize Indiana’s corporate income tax rate – one of the highest in the Midwest. Our Senate proposal would lower Indiana’s corporate income tax rate from 8.5 percent to 5 percent.
Hoosiers benefit from an otherwise advantageous, pro-growth state tax system, according to the nonpartisan Tax Foundation. Indiana Senate Republicans believe if this one outlier in our state tax code is improved, we will not only move up from 10th best business tax climate in the nation, but we could make Indiana the destination of choice for new employers, as well as employer expansion.
S.B. 589 results from work this summer and fall by a bipartisan panel of lawmakers and business leaders who examined ways to improve economic growth statewide. Other recommendations are incorporated into the bill as well:
·Developing educational programs on entrepreneurship for students and members of the workforce;
·Determining specific industries in which Indiana has advantages and should emphasize;
·Finding ways to eliminate or reduce Indiana’s personal property taxes;
·Requiring state and local economic development organizations to collaborate and report results; and
·Focusing public universities on turning technology and innovation research into commercial uses.
Analysts with the nonpartisan Legislative Services Agency will determine the fiscal impact of the bill. Provisions included within the legislation are expected to make the bill revenue neutral.
This legislative effort continues to help our Hoosier state stand apart from the rest in the Midwest. For example, Indiana continues to top Illinois in terms of taxes and job climate.
In addition to posting a higher unemployment rate than Indiana as recently as November, Illinois this month raised both personal income taxes from 3 to 5 percent (a 67 percent increase) and corporate income taxes from 4.8 to 7 percent (a 46 percent increase). These outrageous tax hikes by Illinois prompted the city of Indianapolis to take out a newspaper advertisement inviting Chicago-area employers to consider relocating to the Circle City.
Addressed to Illinois business leaders, the “letter” appearing in the ad begins, “As you consider the effect of large, new state tax increases on your company’s bottom line and ability to hire, I invite you to take a serious look at Indianapolis. The nation’s 13th largest city is right next door, offering the same Midwestern work ethic and conveniences – but in a much more stable, affordable and pro-growth economic environment.”
If we succeed in modernizing Indiana’s corporate income tax rate, we will not only move up from our current ranking as the 10th best business tax climate in the nation, we could make Indiana – and specifically Fort Wayne – an even more attractive venue in which to grow and build a business. And that means more jobs for Hoosiers.
Sen. David Long (R-Fort Wayne) is President Pro Tem of the Indiana Senate. He serves District 16, which includes portions of Fort Wayne.
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