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Letter to the editor: HB 1001 right move

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press
Thursday, February 13, 2014 12:01 am
Giving local governments more options to attract businesses, I am proud to be from a state that is being recognized across the nation for its growing business climate.The Indiana General Assembly has worked diligently in recent years to make Indiana an even more attractive place to live and start a business. Indiana continues to outpace the nation in job growth and has been ranked highly for its business-friendly and pro-taxpayer policies, ranking first in the Midwest and 10th in the nation in the Tax Foundation’s 2014 Business Tax Climate Index.

We take pride in being a competitive business state and serving as an economic bright spot in the Midwest. But, there’s one tax that is a disincentive to businesses looking to invest and to locate in Indiana. For this reason, I co-authored House Bill (HB) 1001, which would give local governments the option to exempt the business personal property tax (BPPT) on new investments. This would remove yet another government barrier to job creation in Indiana and grow local and state economies.

As a business owner myself, I believe HB 1001 will give local officials more tools to attract employers to Indiana and will continue to help make our state’s business climate a top contender for new business in the nation. Indiana is currently one of 38 states that collects a BPPT, but all neighboring states either don’t collect the tax or do so at a lower rate.

Eliminating the BPPT would be a great benefit to Allen County, which currently draws 12.5 percent of its tax revenue from this tax. The county is 44th of 92 counties on how reliant it is on the tax. Each of our state’s counties is unique and has different needs and economic standings. To account for these differences, HB 1001 gives each county the option to eliminate the BPPT on new investments if they decide that it would be financially beneficial to their county.

Having this tax can discourage businesses from investing in new equipment and may cause them to make purchase decisions based on tax policy instead of business needs. This results in a lack of growth, lack of increasing capital and ultimately a lack of economic development. Though some have expressed concern, HB 1001 does not take away current tools locals have to abatement property taxes.

I strongly believe HB 1001 is the right move for Indiana. The bill passed out of the House and now moves to the Senate. To track this bill’s progress visit http://iga.in.gov/legislative/2014/bills/house/1001. As always, please contact me with any questions or concerns you may have. I look forward to hearing from you.

State Rep. Bob Morris, House District 84 (represents part of Allen County)


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