(INDIANAPOLIS) – The House and Senate have both voted on Governor Holcomb’s proposed tax rebate — and reached different conclusions.
The $225 rebate sailed through the House 93-2. Speaker Todd Huston (R-Fishers) says it’s the right relief, delivered in the right way. He says the proposal gives taxpayers inflation relief by returning their own money to them. And he says the plan is broad-based, reaching all Hoosiers — even those who don’t file tax returns.
But Senate Republicans left the rebate out of their tax relief bill, in favor of suspending the gas tax and the utility sales tax. In senators’ first opportunity to vote on the rebate plan, Republicans rejected a Democratic variation on the idea. Anderson Democrat Tim Lanane’s amendment would have limited the rebate to people earning less than $125,000 a year, and would have increased it to $400 for people earning less than $40,000.
Markle Senator Travis Holdman (R), the bill’s author, says some Republicans don’t even want to approve the Senate tax relief provisions, but want to focus on paying down debt. Holdman’s bill steers $400 million to Indiana’s unfunded pension liability for teachers, and about $200 million to a reserve fund to cover inflation-driven cost overruns on construction projects.
The House bill also includes money for prenatal and postnatal services, already approved by the Senate in a different bill. The House also increased adoption and child tax credits, and exempted diapers from the sales tax.
Lanane says Senate Republicans’ bill would save the average household about $130, roughly a third what the rebate would.
Senators plan to vote on the bill Saturday. The House and Senate will take up each other’s bills next week, with a goal of agreeing on a final version by Friday.