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Indiana Democrats propose more immediate tax relief for Hoosiers

By Brandon Smith, IPB News | Published on in Economy, Government, Politics
Sen. Tim Lanane (D-Anderson) and Rep. Greg Porter (D-Indianapolis) said the state can afford to suspend the gas tax for three months to help Hoosiers struggling with high prices at the pump. (Brandon Smith/IPB News)

As Republicans finalize their tax cut package this session, Indiana Democrats are proposing more immediate relief for Hoosiers.

And that includes a temporary suspension of the state’s gas tax.

The Republican tax bill aims to cut the state’s individual income tax by about 10 percent over seven years, meaning the average Hoosier likely won’t notice much difference in their paycheck.

Democrats want to shorten that window to just four years. And Sen. Tim Lanane (D-Anderson) said they also want a three-month suspension of the state gas tax and sales tax on gasoline – which could save people around $12 per fill-up.

“It’ll provide that immediate relief when you drive up and fill up your tank at the gas station,” Lanane said.

READ MORE: Holcomb lays out tax cut specifics, proposes bigger individual income tax cut

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Doing so would cost the state around $300 million in revenue, much of which goes to road construction. Rep. Greg Porter (D-Indianapolis) said the state can cover that cost.

“We have the $5 billion surplus, $200 million since December,” Porter said. “We have the money to backfill those lost revenues.”

Republican legislators have dismissed the idea of suspending those gas taxes. There’s some question as to whether Gov. Eric Holcomb could temporarily suspend them without legislative approval.

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.