You all know the image; it needs no description.
I propose to you that this is what the Republican tax policy has brought to the State of Indiana.
In 2013, Governor Mike Pence proposed significant tax cuts across the board. Some people questioned whether this was a move to run for national office, and we don’t need to go there now. The legislature capitulated and passed a smaller phased-in tax cut for individual, corporate and financial institutions, and also eliminated the inheritance tax from what had already been a prior decrease.
The individual tax cuts capped out this year. Corporate tax cuts are on a phase out that runs for another four to five years.
The short-sided net result: Indiana has cut out billions of dollars in revenue traditionally used for infrastructure.
In the meantime, we have kicked the issue of road funding literally down the pot-holed road. We have painted ourselves into the red, into a corner.
The proposed GOP solution is to raise the gas tax, toll our public roadways, increase taxes on your license plates, or all of the above
The legislature giveth, and then they taketh away.
And so, I ask: Is this sensible, coherent tax policy? Is it fair to our taxpayers?
Perhaps the Indiana legislature should take a more comprehensive analysis of our total tax policy, rather than making piecemeal decisions on a reactionary basis and shifting tax burdens on working families.
We might have learned this lesson when our citizens were enticed into voting for a constitutional property tax cap, with the promise that an increase in the sales tax would be able to totally fund our schools. Or when corporate cuts were going to spur economic growth that would make our heads spin, yet our state lags behind national growth.
For years I hoped that the supermajorities would have stopped singing this song of “everything is great, let’s cut taxes and goodness will trickle down to all.” It is time to have a comprehensive discussion of all of our tax policies so that we can properly fund our essential government services.