(February 24, 2014) – No one under the State House dome is talking about
defunding municipal governments and Hoosiers should examine for themselves the
actual proposals to repeal the business personal property tax, said the National Federation of Independent Business
“Local government officials have rushed to the
ramparts to stop this and some of their rhetoric is unhelpful,” said NFIB Indiana State Director Barbara Quandt. “We’re talking about reforming the way we
finance local government so that businesses can concentrate more resources on
creating jobs and growing our economy.
No one is talking about draining local budgets so that important
services are jeopardized.”
Governor Pence and Legislative leaders want to
reform the tax on personal property , which is levied by local governments on
business equipment. It punishes
entrepreneurs from investing in their own businesses and it makes Indiana less
competitive, said Quandt.
“It drains capital from small businesses that they
would otherwise use for new equipment and new employees,” said Quandt. “It may be a good revenue source for local
governments but there are other ways to finance those services without
discouraging economic growth. Beyond that,
the House proposal would make it optional.
So the local officials who like the status quo don’t have to change. The
Senate version would spare 70 percent of Hoosier small businesses from having
to file the tax.
Some mayors and school officials have been extremely vocal
in their opposition and they’re painting a dark picture. One, for example, talked about “gutting
schools, closing libraries and laying off police.”
“That kind of rhetoric scares people and makes it harder to
have a reasonable discussion,” said Quandt.
“It would be helpful if local officials would tone down the rhetoric and
consider that everyone wants to ensure that important local services aren’t
Small business owners in Indiana strongly favor reforming the
business personal property tax, which is why it’s NFIB’s top legislative goal
“We’ve done a lot in the last several years to make Indiana
more competitive but so have a number of other states,” said Quandt. “We’re in a very intense competition among
the states to attract business investors and the business personal property tax
“Think of manufacturers and industrial businesses that are
already facing very tough international competition. If they’re looking for a home in the United
States, we want them to come to Indiana.
And there are many towns and counties in Indiana that desperately need
those employers. This is an important
proposal and we should be debating it without all of the hysterics.”
To learn more about NFIB, please visit www.nfib.com.