Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

March 5, 2014

State briefs


Kokomo Tribune

---- — Business tax cuts being negotiated

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A package of business tax cuts is on its way to negotiations between Indiana House and state Senate lawmakers following a party-line vote in the Senate.

The Senate voted 33-15 Tuesday to advance the package, sending it to a conference committee of House and Senate members. House and Senate Republicans have agreed broadly on eliminating the state’s business equipment tax for small businesses and creating local “super abatements” for some manufacturers.

A few key sticking points remain between the two sides. House Republicans would like to give county leaders the option of eliminating the equipment tax completely.

Gov. Mike Pence started the session seeking a complete elimination of the equipment tax. But he later scaled back his request amid concern from local leaders who stood to lose $1 billion.

Same-sex marriage benefits up for vote

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A gay-rights coalition says it’s “deeply concerned” about a late-session Indiana proposal not to recognize same-sex marriage for tax purposes.

The state would split from a new Internal Revenue Service policy recognizing same-sex marriage for tax purposes if the measure becomes law.

The proposal was added Monday night and is up for a Tuesday vote in the Senate.

Indiana Equality Action says the last-minute push could pose issues for couples who have a little more than a month to file taxes.

The group also opposed a proposed constitutional gay marriage ban that was derailed earlier this session.

Republican Sen. Brandt Hershman of Buck Creek says tax policy is not the place to debate a social issue.