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Bloomberg BNA recently posed a series of tax-centric questions to the Republican and Democrat candidates for governor in Indiana. Below are the responses from Republican candidate Eric Holcomb.
Interview by Mark Wolski
Eric Holcomb is Indiana’s lieutenant governor, serving with Gov. Mike Pence (R). He was appointed to his position earlier this year, when the state’s lieutenant governor resigned to take another job. Four months after his appointment, he decided to run for governor when Pence was chosen to be Donald Trump’s running mate. Prior to his appointment, he served as the chairman of the Indiana Republican Party. He was also an adviser to former Gov. Mitch Daniels and U.S. Sen. Dan Coats. He ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Senator in 2015. Born in Vincennes, Ind., Holcomb lives in Indianapolis with his wife, Janet.
Editor's Note: Holcomb didn't provide answers to Bloomberg BNA's tax questionnaire that sought his opinion related to priorities on state and local tax issues, hurdles in enacting his tax policy priorities, challenges in the tax and revenue realm facing the state in light of market conditions and whether the state’s tax regime is properly balanced. The following responses were developed from materials on his campaign website and other news reports.
What are your priorities related to state and local tax, if elected?
Holcomb has said he wants to make the state’s venture capital investment tax credit transferable. Doing so, he said, should incentivize out-of-state investors to invest in Indiana businesses.
He has also said he wants to streamline the incentives managed by the Indiana Economic Development Corp. into a single tax credit. The simplification should make the state dollars more accessible to communities for revitalization and redevelopment efforts.
Holcomb has also proposed exempting Indiana veterans’ military pensions from the state’s income tax. The proposal calls for the exemption to be phased in over four years. Once fully implemented, it would cost the state about $18 million per year in reduced revenue.
What is the biggest hurdle you foresee to enacting your major tax-related initiatives, and do you intend to revisit incentives such as those to the aerospace industry that some say should have claw-back terms to ensure performance by Boeing in maintaining jobs in the state?
While Indiana currently boasts a budget surplus, Holcomb has said he doesn’t want to spend it. He said the state’s rainy day fund must be preserved to maintain its AAA credit rating. Not wanting to use existing state dollars could limit his ability to implement his tax plans.
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