Rep. Clere Supports Tax Exemption for Low-Income Families
STATEHOUSE – House Bill 1141, co-authored by Rep. Ed Clere (R-New Albany), would restore the sales tax exemption that expired in 2009 for home energy assistance. The bill unanimously passed out of the House today and will now move to the Senate.
The bill helps stretch energy assistance funds from the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) by ensuring every dollar goes to paying utility costs for needy Hoosiers.
“I’m pleased to see this bipartisan bill moving forward,” said Rep. Clere. “It’s a good opportunity for us to work across the aisle to help Hoosier families.”
The sales tax savings will result in up to $4.4 million in additional assistance to needy families statewide.
To be eligible for this grant, a household's income must not exceed 150 percent of the poverty level or 60 percent of the state median income. Grantees may not set income eligibility standards below 110 percent of the poverty level, but they may give priority to those households with the highest home energy costs or needs in relation to income.
“In this economic climate, every dollar matters, especially to people in need,” said Rep. Clere. “We’ve done a lot to make Indiana more attractive for economic development and job creation, which benefits all Hoosiers. This bill provides direct assistance to those who need it the most.”
Funding for the state's energy assistance program comes from federal sources and dedicated state funds. Since the early 1980s, the federal government has annually appropriated funds to states to provide energy assistance to low-income families.
The tax exemption would apply beginning June 30 and would continue until July 1, 2013.