Last week, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence unveiled his FY 2014-15 budget proposal. It is an impressive first crack at the budgeting process, cutting income taxes across the board by 10 percent and holding spending growth well below the rate of inflation.
While Indiana has taken recent steps to improve its economic competitiveness, most notably passing a Right to Work law last year, Gov. Pence clearly recognizes the need to keep the state moving in the right direction. With neighboring states like Wisconsin, Michigan and Ohio taking proactive steps to cut taxes and eliminate burdensome regulations, Indiana can't rest on its laurels.
ATR President Grover Norquist wrote the following letter to the Indiana Legislature in support of Gov. Pence's budget (PDF copy here):
January 23, 2013
I write in strong support of Gov. Mike Pence’s proposed FY 2014-15 budget. It cuts taxes and reins in state spending, holding spending growth a full percentage point below projected inflation. Gov. Pence clearly realizes the direction most states in the region are heading, and is cutting taxes and curtailing the growth of government to ensure Indiana remains economically competitive with its neighbors.
Indiana’s current income tax is relatively low and flat, especially when compared to Illinois and Minnesota, which are raising taxes. But Wisconsin and Ohio are proposing significant tax cuts, making it important that Indiana stays ahead of the curve. Gov. Pence’s 10 percent income tax cut does just that – bringing the income tax rate paid by Indiana families and small businesses to just 3.06 percent.
The Pence budget is also impressive because of its spending restraint. It holds spending growth to 1.4 percent, which is well below the projected rate of inflation. In other words, this is a real net spending cut. It continues the prudence of the previous administration and ensures that state government funds its priorities while living within its means.
With higher taxes coming out of Washington, D.C., it’s important that Indiana lawmakers do all they can to reduce the tax burden at the state level. This budget is a strong step in that direction, by reducing spending and using surplus revenues to cut taxes.
After years of fiscal responsibility and labor reform, Indiana is positioned as an economic leader in the Midwest. But Gov. Pence correctly realizes that states like Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ohio are nipping at the Hoosier State’s heels. I urge you to stay competitive by passing Gov. Pence’s budget into law.
If you have any questions, please contact Josh Culling, state affairs manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202.785.0266.