Lindauer to focus on tax deductions for veterans


Shane Lindauer

State Rep. Shane Lindauer, R-Jasper, has a handful of bills he plans to propose in the Indiana General Assembly's 2019 session, which starts today.

His biggest priority bill is one he proposed last year, to increase the income tax deduction for military veterans.

“It didn’t get traction last year, so we’re bringing it back,” he said in December. The bill affects funding, and the General Assembly tends to save those kinds of financial decisions for a budget year. Since Legislators will be crafting the state’s next two-year budget during this upcoming session, Lindauer’s bill will have a better chance being considered for funding.

The legislation won’t be exactly like the last bill. “What we are doing this time is trying to bring that deduction in incrementally,” Lindauer said. “It’s a pretty large fiscal impact with that if it goes forward. So we’re trying to lessen that initial fiscal impact.”

Lindauer also plans to file a bill that will work on controlling the bobcat population. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources was looking at implementing bobcat hunting legislation last year, he said, but the measure didn’t go through.

“I’ve heard from a lot of hunters and conservationists in our area about the need for this,” Lindauer said. “No one is out to eliminate the bobcat population. It’s really a concern of wildlife management and game management and what the bobcat population is doing to small game: rabbits, quails, things like that.”

The details of the bill are being crafted.

“It seems to be much more of a problem in southern Indiana,” he said. “In central and northern Indiana, you may not see a bobcat there at all.”

There will be other smaller bills that deal with more technical changes that affect a specific function more so than the overall public.

This will be Lindauer’s first legislative session as an elected representative, having won the seat in the November general election. Before that, in October 2017, he was appointed by caucus to replace Mike Braun, who ran for and won Indiana’s U.S. Senate seat.

“A lot of what I’ve seen happen in the General Assembly is not really exciting or glamorous,” Lindauer noted. “It’s minor changes in code.”

For instance, he has heard from an assessor about an issue of some oil and gas producers not filing their paperwork on time, and not being penalized for their actions. He will propose a bill that will assess a late fee for such actions.

“None of us would know this issue is there, unless you’re in the assessor’s world,” Lindauer said. “But it’s a waste of taxpayers’ money, because the assessors have to chase them down. And it puts the assessors behind in filing their paperwork, which gets them in trouble with the state.”

Also, Lindauer will hold positions in different committees, which will also keep him busy. The biggest one is vice chairman of the Public Health Committee; he will also work on the Family, Children and Human Affairs Committee, Natural Resources Committee and Roads and Transportation Committee.

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