Pence Adds Fourth Tax To Possible Hit List

Personal Property Tax Hurts Businesses, Republican Candidate Says

Republican Rep. Mike Pence said he plans to cut four state taxes, instead of the three he mentioned earlier this week if he's elected governor.

Pence said his plan is just in its formative stages, but he believes it would help Indiana's economy, 6News' Norman Cox reported.

On Thursday, Pence said he wanted to reduce the state individual and corporate income taxes to 3 percent and maybe get rid of the inheritance tax altogether.

Just two days later, he said he'd like to add a fourth tax to the chopping block, but he doesn't think it could happen until the state has enough cash in reserve.

Pence said he would also consider possible reductions in a tax that he believes hurts manufacturers and farmers: the personal property tax on their equipment.

"We're not settled on the numbers," said Pence. "We're not settled on specifics. You know, we are looking at tax relief and tax reform as a part of an agenda to get Indiana growing again, to encourage the kind of investment that will create jobs."

Budget analysts said cutting the three taxes Pence has already targeted would cost the state slightly more than $1 billion a year in revenue, putting funding for education and other state services in peril.

Pence stressed that he wouldn't take any action until the state has more in the bank to cushion the blow than it does now.

"After we make sure we have an adequate surplus in place to insure our fiscal health, my first priority would be tax relief," Pence said.

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels said he liked Pence's idea but said it might not happen for a long time.

"The idea of lowering the tax on small businesses, which are the job creators, would have a lot of appeal to me," Daniels said. "But again, conditions would have to be right. Looking at this national economy right now, I wonder if they will be for a while."

Several Democratic leaders blasted Pence's idea.

The party's only declared candidate for governor, John Gregg, did not.

"I think Hoosiers want to know if (Pence's plan) is fiscally responsible. Is it fiscally prudent? Is it fiscally conservative?" Gregg said.

Gregg said any tax cut passing those tests would be like ice cream: He doesn't know of any Hoosier, living or dead, who wouldn't want it.