Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Columns

February 17, 2014

BRIAN HOWEY: Pence knee deep in taxes, repeals and mud

Noblesville senator calls for review of state tax reforms.

If you want to go to one of the most conservative places in Indiana, where Hoosier Republican-ism runs deep, I would recommend Wakarusa.

It’s a lovely little town on Ind. 19, between Elkhart and Nappanee. It’s a place where you can buy great Amish-made furniture, an RV or an apple pie. They have a wonderful maple syrup festival with amazing pancakes. The folks there are friendly and compassionate. It was a place where Elkhart County Republicans would gather at Nelson’s Golden Glo Port-a-Pit Hall for the annual Lincoln Day Dinner. One year I showed up as a reporter for the Elkhart Truth and Republican Vice Chairwoman Eloyse Forbes believed I looked too skinny (not a concern these days) and insisted I have dinner at the head table, much to the surprise of Gov. Bob Orr.

On another occasion, U.S. Sen. Howard Baker, R-Tenn., who was a White House aspirant, was the keynoter and didn’t have time to finish his delicious plate of Nelson’s Golden Glo Port-a-Pit chicken, so owner Nelson Gongwer traded his plate, then froze the original dinner. He would show it off to those interested in viewing a presidential campaign diet.

So, yes, this is a bastion of conservatism that no one should doubt.

Thus, it caught my attention when on Feb. 4 the Wakarsua Town Board passed a resolution on Gov. Mike Pence’s personal property tax repeal. “None of the proposals being considered by the Governor or Indiana General Assembly contemplate any replacement revenues for those revenues they are eliminating via the full or partial elimination of the business personal property tax,” it stated. It further resolved, “that we oppose any proposal to eliminate all or any portion of the business personal property tax without a corresponding replacement revenue stream implemented by the State of Indiana.”

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