His desire to trim Indiana's income tax rate from 3.4 percent to 3.06 percent -- a 10 percent drop -- figured prominently in his message.
"I'm someone that believes government should collect only what it needs," he said. "And when government collects more than it needs, I think it should return that to the hard-working taxpayers who earned it in the first place."
Pence said the tax relief would help Indiana residents and small-business owners at a time when federal tax rates have risen.
"When you lower the personal income tax rate, it's also the best way to lower taxes on job creators," he said.
"Most statistics show that more than 90 percent of business enterprises in the state of Indiana don't file their taxes under the corporate tax rate; they file their taxes under the personal income tax rate," he continued. "If you want to lower taxes on job creators, lower the personal income tax rate so small businesses can hire more employees and purchase new equipment and grow."
Pence said the tax cut would also make Indiana "the lowest-tax state in the Midwest," according to the Tax Foundation.
"We might just have to put that on all the billboards facing out," he said.
It hasn't been easy, however, for the new governor to sell his tax plan to the General Assembly, even though Republicans hold large majorities in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.
Neither the House nor the Senate has advanced budget proposals that include the tax cut during this year's legislative session.The Tribune notes that Indiana is currently running a more than $2 billion surplus. Pence's tax cut would reduce annual revenues by about $500 million a year.