DOWNHAM: A path to prosperity in Indiana

April 25, 2013

Lower income taxes will ensure Hoosiers’ future

Indiana takes great pride in being the crossroads of America. Right now, our state leaders face a crossroads of their own: whether to reduce income taxes for hardworking Hoosiers or to follow the road of more government spending.

By calling for a 10 percent income-tax cut for Indiana taxpayers, Gov. Mike Pence has mapped the right way forward for our state. Lowering taxes is the right choice for Indiana if we want to put our state on the road to a healthy economy, job growth and increased opportunity. Simply put, it’s the right thing to do.

Like the rest of the nation, Indiana suffered mightily from the 2007-09 recession and the subsequent sluggish recovery. However, unlike many states, we were fortunate to have leaders in Indianapolis who did the right thing by reducing government spending and keeping taxes relatively low. Our state leaders, such as then-Gov. Mitch Daniels, understood that to encourage business growth, we need to keep the growth of state government in check.

We’ve seen solid results from that formula over the past few years. While other states wrestle with deteriorating fiscal situations, Indiana actually boasts a budget surplus of more than $500 million.

That formula also made Indiana more competitive when it comes to attracting job-creating businesses. In fact, in 2012, Chief Executive magazine surveyed corporate leaders around the nation on the best states for doing business, and they ranked Indiana fifth in the nation.
These results suggest Indiana is on the right track. The question is, how do we build upon this enviable position and keep growing?

The answer is by returning tax dollars to those who earned them in the first place. Mr. Pence’s plan calls for returning a portion of the budget surplus to the taxpayers, while holding the line on government spending. Mr. Pence’s proposal would reduce the state’s income tax from 3.4 to 3.06 percent. More than 4.4 million Hoosiers would see lower taxes under this plan, which would put some $500 million per year back into families’ pockets and small business’ budgets.

Hoosiers don’t have to choose between putting money back in the real economy or schools and good roads.

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