Column: A history of responsible tax cuts

By REP. LLOYD ARNOLD

It is that time of the year when many Hoosiers get a little back in their wallets thanks to their tax returns. This year, Hoosiers will receive an added amount due to the Automatic Taxpayer Refund and the fiscal conservatism enacted in the state’s budget that led to more than a $2 billion surplus. So far, 1.5 million Hoosiers have already received the refundable credit for the 2012 tax year resulting in $171 million dollars of savings.
 
The last few years have been hard for many Hoosiers because of the slow growth of the nation’s economy. Despite its turbulence, Indiana has provided a sustainable path to weather the storm through the state’s principles of fiscal responsibility and living within its means. I know we are not in the clear yet, so I will remain resolute in my advocacy for Hoosiers values.
 
The Indiana House proposed the next two-year budget for our state with these same principles at the forefront. It is focuses on taxpayers, supporting children, students and families who have made our state what it is today.
 
The Indiana General Assembly is charged with passing a balanced budget every two years. The House carefully examined its top priorities: education, jobs and fiscal integrity. It also looked into areas that needed additional attention and would keep Indiana on an economically strong path. We knew that we wanted to help hard working Hoosier families by providing additional tax relief.
 
The principles I outlined, responsible spending and prudent tax cuts, have enabled Hoosiers to receive either a $111 tax credit as a single filer or $222 as joint filers. Indiana’s ATR credit will refund approximately $361 million to taxpayers, funded solely by the state’s surplus from the previous biennial budget. If it was not for the House striving to enact an honestly balanced budget, looking forward to what Indiana will need in the future, we would not be able to provide hard-working Hoosiers with this tax relief.
 
House Bill 1001, the state’s biennial budget for fiscal years 2014 and 2015, is important to continuing our fiscal and economic success in Indiana. HB 1001 will continue to help Hoosier families through numerous tax breaks and incentives over the next two years.
 
One tax break will be speeding up the elimination of the inheritance tax to Jan. 1, 2018, saving almost $300 million. This is money that will support family farms and small businesses, in addition to keeping Hoosiers here who would otherwise retire in other states.  
 
The House has strived to strengthen Indiana’s core foundation of fiscal integrity, paying off our bonds to avoid saddling our children and their children with debt. We will not be able to combat national economic downturns without continuing to uphold sustainable spending. It is vital for Indiana to continue to be one of only nine states to hold a triple-A bond rating from all three credit agencies, bringing more businesses and economic development to our great state.
 
The House’s budget was not crafted overnight; thousands of hours went into this integral piece of legislation. Our proposed budget is designed to grow Indiana’s economy, support the Hoosier education system and protect our state’s children. These are our priorities, and I look forward to continued discussions that will move Indiana forward.




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