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Monday, February 10, 2014

Ind. Gov't. - “It’s just going to rip the heart out of local government”

That is a quote from Elkhart County Commissioner Mike Yoder in this Sunday story by Maureen Hayden in the Terre Haute Tribune Star. The reference is to Gov. Pence's:

... idea of repealing the tax on business equipment that provides $1 billion a year to schools, libraries and local governments. He’s yet to come up with a plan to replace those lost tax dollars. * * *

Yoder’s vocal disagreement with Pence is echoed by mayors and county officials – Republicans and Democrats – throughout Indiana. They can’t see how local governments will function if so much of the money they’ve relied on to pay police, pave local streets and provide other services goes missing.

The governor keeps promising those local leaders that their communities won’t be “unduly harmed” by his plan. His continued refusal to define what that means confounds them.

And it causes a loyal Republican like Yoder to fear the worst.

Yoder's counter proposal, Hayden reports, is:
To replace the tax revenue lost by the locals, the state should go after dollars lost to offshore tax havens used by businesses.

“Why aren’t we recouping some of that tax revenue?” Yoder said. “The state could go after that money and turn it over to the locals as replacement revenue.”

It’s a question asked only half in jest. According to a new report published in Governing magazine, state governments failed to collect more than $20 billion in taxes in 2011 from corporations that socked away money in the Cayman Islands and other well-known tax havens.

The report, by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, identified 31 states that saw more than $100 million in corporate tax revenue go uncollected in 2011. Indiana is one. According to the report, it lost $463 million to offshore tax havens.

Only two states, Montana and Oregon, have passed laws to recoup some of that money, by requiring companies to report profits from subsidiaries in foreign countries known for their tax-dodging loopholes. The PIRG report speculates on one reason that more states haven’t moved: Well-funded business groups employ ample resources to oppose tax reforms.

Read the whole story here.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on February 10, 2014 10:06 AM
Posted to Indiana Government