The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Nation & World

June 12, 2013

Indiana lawmakers override Pence on local tax measure



Rep. Eric Turner, R-Cicero, said no lawmaker wants to needlessly raise a tax or unfairly approve a tax that was already being collected illegally, but noted that residents would pay more in taxes if the veto were sustained because the county would have to find other ways to pay for the jail.

"At the end of the day, we felt like local taxpayers would pay more, and so that's the reason we came up with this solution in this bill," said Turner, the author of the legislation.

The override marked another legislative defeat for Pence at the hands of his own party, but the governor, Long and Bosma have played down any discord. House Democrats, meanwhile, lined up with the governor, with some arguing a retroactive "correction" could lay the groundwork for others to seek retroactive changes from the Legislature.

"A terrible precedent is set," said Rep. Patrick Bauer, D-South Bend, the former House minority leader. One House Republican, Rep. Milo Smith of Columbus, joined with Democrats in voting to sustain the veto. The results were mixed in the Senate, with seven of the chamber's most conservative Republicans joining with a handful of liberal Democrats in support of Pence.

Turner pointed out that it was Jackson County officials who discovered the mistake, not anyone in with the state. The discovery marks a third reported error from the Department of Revenue, though nothing on the scale of the pair of mistakes which caused the state lose track of $526 million in tax collections.

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