Lawmakers talk taxes, marriage

    Taxes and marriage, two of the Indiana Republican Party’s favorite subjects, predictably took center stage Saturday morning as the two GOP lawmakers who represent Adams County held a town hall-style meeting in Decatur.
    State Rep. Matt Lehman, R-Berne, and State Sen. Travis Holdman, R-Markel, were greeted by a handful of constituents at the 8 a.m. meeting, held in the local chamber of commerce office. The lawmakers were there to update residents on the rapid pace of bills being discussed in the General Assembly’s so-called “short session” that had started just four days earlier.
    Heading into this year’s legislative session, Gov. Mike Pence had outlined as one of his top priorities the elimination of Indiana’s business personal property tax. Lehman on Saturday said Pence’s proposal “is a long way from becoming reality” as several alternative pieces of legislation already have been introduced to assist Hoosier businesses. Even Pence has “backed off” his push for an outright elimination of that tax, the Berne lawmaker said.
    Analysts have said the elimination of the business personal property tax would translate into $1 billion in lost revenue, all of which currently funds schools and local governments. Holdman said he would only support legislation that replaces that revenue “dollar-for-dollar.”
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