Column: Providing tax relief for Hoosiers

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By State Senator Jim Merritt 

Indiana has established strong reputation as a taxpayer-friendly state in recent years.

Since 2008, we’ve capped property taxes, eliminated the inheritance tax and reduced income taxes for individuals and employers. This track record helped instill trust in legislators and the fiscal decisions we make on behalf of Hoosiers.

I believe the state should place heightened scrutiny on the tax incentives we offer, so the legislature can make sure Hoosiers are getting good results from the policies we’ve enacted. As lawmakers, we recognize that some financial incentives for employers are necessary and effectively help the economy, but we have been deliberate in establishing those incentives.

Senate Bill 436 would provide targeted tax relief for small businesses by ending the equipment tax for any employer with less than $20,000 in equipment. This change will significantly reduce compliance costs for about half the employers in the state, but will have a very small fiscal impact to state and local government because these employers’ tax bills are typically small.

In addition, the bill would prevent significant property tax increases on Hoosier farmers during a period of falling crop prices by freezing base farmland assessment in 2015.

Indiana farmers and small businesses are the backbone of our economy and they deserve our support.

This legislation is just one example of the many improvements Indiana has made to our tax system to attract employers and better serve all Hoosiers.

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