[r63] Protecting Hoosier Taxpayers- One Dollar at a Time

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, March 26, 2010

You know, there's nothing like filing your taxes to make you wonder exactly how the government is choosing to spend your hard-earned money.

 As we make appointments with the family accountant or install the do-it-yourself computer software, each of us is searching for every possible deduction.

So, I thought I'd take this opportunity to talk about the precautions we took in state government this year to protect your state tax dollars.

Of course, I voted to pass property tax caps at the start of session and am thrilled that taxpayers will have the opportunity to vote in November on approving this change to the Indiana Constitution.

Constitutional property tax caps will ensure the permanency of the property tax reforms that begun in 2008. 

According to the Legislative Services Agency, homeowners are estimated to see a cut in their property taxes of over $100 million in 2010 because of the property tax caps. 

I also firmly believe the caps will encourage local government efficiency and prevent lawsuits.

I also made a commitment this year to avoid tax increases.

Unlike Washington, D.C., the State of Indiana is making prudent fiscal decisions.   Hoosier families all over the state are still struggling to get or remain on their feet during this recession, and clearly, adding to a family's tax burden is not the answer.

In addition, I voted to delay the unemployment Insurance tax increase which would have taxed more than 72,000 employers that own a small business that employs anywhere from 1-49 employees.

There were provisions in the bill that were not exactly what I wanted, but none that outweighed the positive benefits  the tax delay will have on our district.

My colleagues and I will be working through the summer on helping to find a solution to the one year tax delay issue that is one year away from being a problem.

All in all, given the financial constraints that we face as a state-and what I would call a politically charged short session-I am pleased with the outcome.

In my opinion, it is simply not an option to raise Hoosier taxes due to our state government's budget shortcomings. We first must live within our means.

Increasing taxes should never be our first resort, but rather our last. I was thrilled that I was able to prevent any new taxes from being passed this session.