Indiana Republicans still split over tax refund proposal | New


INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Republican lawmakers in Indiana remained far from in agreement Wednesday on whether to accept the governor’s proposal to give every taxpayer a $225 rebate on the growing budget surplus. of State.

The Republican-dominated House and Senate put forward starkly different plans during the special legislative session to use $1 billion or more of the state’s record $6.1 billion in cash reserves, the version of the Senate canceling reimbursement payments in favor of reimbursement of future teachers’ retirement obligations. .

Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb described the payments as a relief from inflation, but GOP Senate leaders have expressed concern that inflation will increase with the rebate and fear that inflation will increase the cost of planned state construction projects.

Republican Rep. Sharon Negele of Attica, the home plan’s sponsor, said Wednesday she believed residents preferred a direct refund and hoped to reach a compromise in the coming days.

“I think the relief can be for each individual family to figure out where they need their relief and that’s why I like the automatic taxpayer refund,” Negele said. “Some families will use it for textbooks, some families will use it for clothes, some families will use it for gasoline, some families will use it for groceries.”

The Republican split over the reimbursement plan comes as much attention was focused during the special session that began July 25 on debate over a bill to largely ban abortions in the state. . Lawmakers aim to make decisions on both issues before the August 14 session adjournment deadline.

The governor’s office did not immediately respond Wednesday to a request for comment on the repayment plan negotiations.

The Senate proposal would suspend the state’s 7% sales tax on electric, water, natural gas and other utility bills for six months. A legislative report estimates residential and business customers would save about $300 million, less than a third of the projected $1.1 billion that would be paid out in rebate checks that House Republicans have backed.

The Senate plan would also cap state gasoline taxes through next summer at about a cent below the current record high of 62.4 cents a gallon. Republican lawmakers for several months have pushed back on calls from Democrats to suspend gasoline taxes to help motorists.

House Republicans have strongly supported Holcomb’s repayment plan. It would send payments to about 4.3 million people who have filed state tax returns and are eligible for $125 payments that began in May under the Taxpayer Automatic Refund Act. the state, while allowing perhaps 800,000 people who have not filed returns to claim the money.

Senate Tax Committee Chairman Travis Holdman, a Markle Republican, said the Senate plan would both reduce the tax burden on residents and protect state finances by earmarking $400 million for future tax obligations. a teachers’ pension fund and about $200 million to cover rising construction costs.

House and Senate Republicans are also offering plans that would direct more money to programs that help pregnant women, children and people who adopt children as a complementary step to the tougher restrictions on abortion being considered.

Democratic lawmakers have called for additional measures from the state surplus, such as providing larger refunds to low-income families, expanding child care programs and eliminating the state sales tax on infant-related products such as baby clothing,

“There are too many mothers, too many families who will be negatively affected because we haven’t done more,” said Democratic Rep. Greg Porter of Indianapolis. “Another missed opportunity.”

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