FILE - In this June 12, 2014, file photo, Indiana Senate President Pro Tempore David Long welcomes delegates meeting to set up the framework for states to amend the U.S. Constitution, at the Statehouse in Indianapolis. The 2016 November election put Republicans in full control of a record number of state legislatures around the country, a level of power that gives the party an unprecedented opportunity: change the U.S. Constitution. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File)
Senators have approved their plan for spending a billion dollars of Indiana’s record six-billion dollars in reserves.
The bill would save the average household about 130 dollars by suspending the gas tax and the sales tax on utilities. It sets aside another 600-million dollars to further reduce unfunded pension liabilities, and absorb cost overruns due to inflation on state construction projects.
The plan puts the Senate at odds with the House, which adopted Governor Holcomb’s proposed 225-dollar-per-taxpayer rebate on Friday. Markle Senator Travis Holdman (R) says the Senate plan keeps the state on track to pay its bills. And he says the tax relief portion is more efficient than the tax rebate, since people will receive it automatically at the pump and on their utility bills. He notes the rebate will create costs to print checks and to process rebate requests from people who don’t file tax returns,
Six Democrats joined Republican senators to approve the plan. The House and Senate will take up each other’s bills next week.
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