“We’ve said many times here, our goal is to do the right thing for the citizens of the state,” Bosma said. “It’s easy to bang a ‘Hey, let’s cut taxes drum.’ But you’ve got to be sure it’s a smart cut, it’s sustainable in the long run, not [just] in an election cycle. That’s our goal.”
The announcement by the Americans for Prosperity came as the Senate appropriations committee started hearings on the House budget bill. Senate leaders, like their GOP counterparts in the House, have expressed little support for the Pence tax cut.
Pence has taken a similar tactic as AFP. Since failing to lock down the legislative support he needs for the tax cut, he’s taken his pitch on the road to urge voters to pressure their legislators to support his plan.
In a speech to the Vigo County Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, Pence stuck tightly to an oft-repeated script that paints the tax cut as a job-creator and economic development tool. Pence argued the state, which has a $2 billion surplus, can afford the tax cut.
“First and foremost, I don’t think government should ever collect more money than it needs to operate,” Pence said. “And when it is set to collect more than it needs, it ought to find ways to permanently reduce the tax burden.”
The tug-of-war between Pence and GOP legislative leaders has been escalating in recent weeks. As Pence has tried to work around them, they’ve pushed back.
Bosma recently sent a letter to GOP county chairmen, saying neither he nor Senate President David Long are convinced the tax cut is sustainable. In it, Bosma describes the property and income tax cuts enacted after Indiana built a $2 billion surplus in 1998 led to a $1.3 billion deficit six years later, resulting in “painful and difficult” budget cuts.