Republican Mike Pence is looking at ways to cut Indiana income tax rates across the board if elected governor next year.
The congressman told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he wants the state's individual and corporate tax rates reduced to 3 percent. The state's individual tax rate is now 3.4 percent and the corporate rate is 8.5 percent.
Pence also said he would like to repeal Indiana's estate tax.
But the state's surplus would need to grow more before tax cuts would become viable, Pence said. He didn't give a specific level the state would have to reach first.
“Any surplus net of adequate reserves should be used for pro-growth tax reform, not more government spending,” Pence said.
While Pence was busy in Congress pretending to fight for balanced budgets, the Indiana General Assembly this year approved a new law reducing Indiana's corporate income tax rate gradually from its current rate of 8.5% to 6.0%. Pence relies on the current occupant of the office's claim that Indiana currently is running a $1.2 billion surplus, which is simply not the case. I hate to disappoint my fellow Republicans, but Indiana is indebted to the federal government for over $2 billion for paying benefits to our unemployed after our state unemployment insurance fund went broke very early on in the current recession because Indiana lawmakers cut tax rates paid by businesses while increasing benefits paid to unemployed workers. That debt is only growing. The state also has billions of dollars in unfunded pension obligations. At the rate we're going, our state employees retirement fund will be broke within 8 years.
I'm all for lower taxes, but the state has to figure out how to address its unfunded obligations before giving up a surplus that exists on paper only through creative accounting methods. Pence had the luxury of voting this week to allow the federal government to borrow another $2.4 trillion so the federal government could continue to run up the largest budget deficits in our nation's history without making any specific tax or spending decisions or a concern in the world as to how our nation's current debt, let alone this mountain of new debt, could possibly ever be repaid. Even worse, he supported a plan that gives unconstitutional authority to a "Super Congress", a select few members chosen by the leadership of both houses, which will get to make future tax, spending and borrowing decisions over the wishes of the majority of members elected to the Senate and House. That single vote wiped out any credibility he had as a true fiscal conservative. This is 2011, Mike, not 1787 when states still had the ability to print their own money with calamitous results. Sorry, Mike. Actions speak louder than words.
Judge Andrew Napolitano sounds off in the video below on why he believes the Budget Control Act passed by Pence and his fellow colleagues is unconstitutional.