Governor Eric Holcomb speaking at Purdue University, Wednesday, July 20, 2022 (Peter Blanchard/IBJ)
Signaling their opposition to Gov. Eric Holcomb’s plan to issue $1 billion to Hoosier taxpayers in the form of $225 tax refund checks, Indiana Senate Republicans on Wednesday presented an alternative plan to provide a financial relief to Indiana residents during a period of record inflation.
Written by State Senator Travis Holdman, R-Markle, Senate Bill 3 would suspend the state sales tax on residential utilities for six months, including the 7% sales tax on electricity, water, gas, internet and telephone bills.
“By suspending the 7% sales tax on residential utilities, we can relieve nearly every Hoosier, with an estimated savings of $260 million statewide,” Senator Holdman said in a statement. communicated. “This concept would benefit more people than the proposed rebate to taxpayers, and all savings would go to Indiana households.”
The plan aligns with Senator Holdman’s previous comments about the Governor’s proposal in which he indicated he was lukewarm about sending another refund to taxpayers in addition to the automatic taxpayer refund from the state that was triggered last summer.
Senate Bill 3 would also cap the state’s gasoline use tax at $0.295 per gallon through June 30, 2023, suspend gasoline tax and special tax increases. that took effect from July 1 to June 30, 2023, would allocate an additional $400 million to the pre-1996 teachers’ retirement fund and provide $215 million to help fund capital projects that were included in the 2021 budget but have not progressed due to rising construction costs.
“Senate Republicans are today proposing a package that can provide financial relief to all Hoosiers in several ways while continuing to pay down our outstanding debt,” said Senate Speaker Pro Tem Rodric Bray, R-Martinsville, in a press release.
Holcomb does not abandon his proposal. Imagine Indiana, a nonprofit that helped organize inaugural events and cover travel expenses to Israel for the governor, recently paid for a 30 second radio ad supporting the tax refund, the Indiana Capital Chronicle reported.
The announcement, voiced by Governor Holcomb, says, “Even though Indiana’s economy is booming, Hoosier families are struggling to keep up with this nationwide inflation. It hits hard at the pump and at the checkout. The best way to help is to send some of your own hard-earned money back to you by August.
House Republicans remain more optimistic about Governor Holcomb’s proposal. House Speaker Todd Huston, R-Fishers, unveiled House Bill 1001, which includes language from the Governor’s tax refund proposal while adding a provision that allows residents of the Indiana who have not filed taxes for the 2020 tax year to file an affidavit with the state. Ministry of Revenue to claim the refund of $225.
Rep. Huston said House Republicans are prioritizing tax refunds in light of the state’s fiscal year end, which showed Indiana had record reserves of $6.1 billion. of dollars.
“Our state’s fiscal year-end shows an incredibly strong economy and underscores why providing this refund is not only fiscally prudent, it’s the right thing for Hoosiers to do,” said the representing Houston in a statement.
Lawmakers are due to meet Monday for a special session, which Holcomb originally called to review his tax refund plan. The session was then expanded to examine abortion legislation after the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
The House Ways and Means Committee plans to begin hearing testimony on House Bill 1001 on Tuesday. The Senate Appropriations Committee will meet at 2 p.m. Tuesday to hear SB 3.
According to Indiana code, the special session must end no later than Aug. 14, but legislative leaders said they expect to wrap up their business by Aug. 7.