House Republicans announced yesterday their plan to eliminate the business personal property tax. In some respects, it's worse than Gov. Mike Pence's plan to completely eliminate the tax that raises about $1 billion annually for local governments. The Republican plan would allow each county to decide whether to eliminate the tax for a select group of businesses--new businesses and manufacturing equipment. The idea is to use the tax break to entice businesses from other states to relocate to Indiana rather than encourage businesses to move from county to county to chase the tax break. "We think it's the smart route to give local counties the option to do what they know their community needs," Bosma said.
I'm really growing frustrated with lawmakers picking winners and losers when it comes to paying taxes, whether it's in Washington or at the State House. The Constitution is supposed to provide us equal protection under the law, but our tax laws do anything but treat individuals and businesses equally. Here's the bottom line. When government decides to award special tax breaks to one group of individuals or businesses, it means that a portion of the tax burden is shifted to another group of taxpayers. It's a zero sum game. We already favor companies that relocate to Indiana over existing businesses with all of the economic development incentives the state and local governments have in their arsenal to offer them.
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