Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

January 9, 2013

Buck pushing tax cut, annexation bills

Senator also wants to get rid of judge age limits.

Indianapolis — State Sen. Jim Buck has a fallback plan in place, just in case the Indiana General Assembly won’t get behind Gov.-elect Mike Pence’s push for a 10 percent cut in the state’s flat income tax rate.

Buck’s plan, an even larger income tax drop, phased in over four years instead of the Pence plan’s two, would cost the state somewhere between $164 million (the state’s estimate) and $140 million (Buck’s estimate).

“I think if you’re going to grow the economy, this will help,’ Buck said. “Putting extra money in people’s pockets is just a way to keep the cost of living down.”

The income tax proposal, perhaps headed for the same limbo Pence’s proposal seems stuck in, is one of 10 bills Buck has filed ahead of Friday’s deadline, and by far the one with the biggest potential impact on the state’s coffers.

Upon the passage of property tax reform and property tax caps in the last decade, Buck switched his focus from filing perennially ignored bills to eliminate property taxes to filing largely ignored bills to reduce income taxes.

This time around, with Pence also showing an interest in the idea, it’s possible Buck’s proposal could gain more traction. Buck recently told the Evansville Courier & Press that the bill received a warm welcome from fellow Republicans.

Buck’s other ongoing issue in recent years has been annexation, and this year he is eschewing his past pattern of placing numerous anti-annexation measures into one bill, in hopes that the legislature might be willing to pass some of the measures in smaller chunks.

The one Buck said he’s most hopeful about is a measure which would require annexation waivers to be recorded onto a property deed.

Currently, there is no requirement to record the waivers, in which a property owner gives up any future right to remonstrate against an annexation in return for city services.

The city of Kokomo collected hundreds of waivers from property owner affected by the West Side and East Side annexations, but in some cases the current property owner had no idea that the original owners had signed a waiver.

“It’s a good thing for realtors, so they don’t get blamed. And it helps the cities, because people can’t say. ‘You just didn’t tell me,’” he said.

While Buck is hoping the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns won’t come out against the waivers bill, his bills to get rid of the 65 percent supermajority needed to kill an annexation will be heavily opposed, as will another bill allowing unincorporated hamlets to incorporate to stave off annexations.

Buck is also proposing to increase the penalty for involuntary manslaughter when committed with a vehicle, from a Class D felony, punishable by up to two years in prison, to a Class C felony, punishable by up to eight years. Buck said he is hoping to pass the bill separately from a comprehensive update to the Indiana Criminal Code being pushed by State Sen. Brent Steele, R-Bedford.

Steele’s bill incorporates a number of recommendations from a summer legislative study committee. Buck said those measures wouldn’t take effect until July 2014 if they pass, and he’d like to see his felony enhancement pass sooner.

Buck said he’s filing the bill partially out of deference to the family of Kokomo resident Jeremy Bagwell, who was killed by a driver in southern Indiana as he did roadside construction work.

Finally, Buck is trying to expand the scope of the bill he passed last year, which eliminated the maximum age limit for circuit and superior court judges.

This time, he’s trying to eliminate the age limit for Indiana appellate court judges, including the Indiana Supreme Court and the Indiana Court of Appeals.

“I’m not sure what the reasoning was when they put those limits in place years and years ago, but the U.S. Supreme Court doesn’t have limits, so why are we doing it?”

Scott Smith can be reached at 765-454-8569 or at scott.smith@kokomotribune.com

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Shooting victim forgives assailant Misty Wallace was a high school senior with a full ride scholarship to play softball in college. Keith Blackburn was a high school dropout on drugs and in gangs, expecting to be either dead or in prison after taking on a life of crime. Their lives wi

    April 21, 2014

  • Take Back the Night and Angel Walk coming Hundreds of students, faculty, staff and community members will come together at Indiana University Kokomo next week to raise awareness of domestic violence through the annual Take Back the Night and Angel Walk. The rally begins at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday

    April 21, 2014

  • tornadodamage34-20-04.jpg Kokomo Skating Arena: 10 years gone

    If you drive past the intersection of East Morgan and North Ohio streets these days you’ll see some trees, a parking lot and a Dollar General store. What you won’t see is the Kokomo Skating Arena, a landmark which stood on this corner for decades until a tornado caved the roof in April 20, 2004. Those who knew it well said they won’t soon forget it.

    April 20, 2014 6 Photos

  • Question Time: Name a baby (or babies) today

    “Imagine you’re having a baby (or babies) today. What would you name it (or them) and why? (You can give answers for a girl, a boy or both; and any combination for twins, triplets, etc.)”

    April 20, 2014

  • 400SUnion.jpg Counties move forward with flood mitigation one year later

    One by one, properties were bulldozed from the neighborhood between Carter and Murden streets in downtown Kokomo, physically erasing evidence of residential flooding in an area long prone to it.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • 400SUnion Counties move forward with flood mitigation one year later One by one, properties were bulldozed from the neighborhood between Carter and Murden streets in downtown Kokomo, physically erasing evidence of residential flooding in an area long prone to it. Removing homes along Park Avenue, near Waterworks Park

    April 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • Flooded area - E Murden 01 Jaimz family seeks closure after losing everything Ashley Jaimz and her sister, Amanda Urbina, took a drive through the Cedar Crest neighborhood the other day to view how residents were faring in the wake of a Nov. 17 tornado. The drive was intended to provide some closure to Jaimz, who is still stru

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS - FEMA 03 Kokomo resident whose basement collapsed during flood repairs own home

    Walter Raderstorf can still remember sitting in his living room inside his home on West Park Avenue, realizing he had escaped a brush with death. “I was in the basement carrying stuff up and I came in here and sat down,” he said. “It wasn’t 30 second

    April 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • Late Kokomo teacher dedicates estate to foundation Longtime Kokomo School Corp. teacher Holly Kirkpatrick will continue to have a positive impact on students thanks to a $38,000 donation from her estate to the Kokomo Public Schools Education Foundation. Kirkpatrick died in November 2012 after teachin

    April 20, 2014

  • flood anniversary Thomas family ready to move on after flood In the Thomas household, few things take precedent over baseball. You’d be hard-pressed to find a couple more dedicated to youth baseball in Kokomo — or anywhere else for that matter — than Michael and Lashanda Thomas, who have passed that love of th

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.