Indiana House Democratic Caucus

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Democratic push to cut middle-class textbook tax rejected by Republican majority

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For immediate release:
Feb. 11, 2013


INDIANAPOLIS - Indiana House Republicans today rejected a proposal from State Rep. Clyde Kersey (D-Terre Haute) that would have reduced textbook taxes paid by middle class Hoosier families.

During second reading debate on House Bill 1427, majority Republicans voted down Kersey’s plan to establish a school textbook tax credit for families with children who attend public and private schools in Indiana.

[Listen to audio of Rep. Kersey explaining the need for the middle class textbook tax cut he proposed.]

The proposal was the first middle class tax cut plan offered during the 2013 session of the Indiana General Assembly, which just entered its sixth week.

“The textbook taxes paid by parents of schoolchildren in Indiana have been one of our state’s longest and most regressive taxes,” Kersey said. “Families find themselves paying hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars each school year for the textbooks their children need to learn basic skills.

“I cannot imagine a tax cut that would have a deeper, more wide-ranging impact at a time when our middle class families need relief more than ever,” he added. “It is very disappointing to see that the House majority chose not to consider a plan that could keep a little more money in the pockets of the middle class.”

In recent years, Kersey noted that the Republican-controlled Indiana State Legislature had approved measures that reduced corporate taxes and gave tax breaks on paying educational expenses for parents of children who attend private schools.

The cost of the textbook tax cut would be far less than the corporate tax cuts passed in recent years, Kersey said.

“We seem to be paying attention to everyone except the people who need it the most,” Kersey said.

“It is a shame that we have waited nearly six weeks to debate and vote on plans that can actually help Hoosier families and the middle class, and to see it rejected out of hand is very disconcerting,” he continued. “However, there will be other opportunities to offer relief to the middle class this session, and I will make sure that there are other chances to debate and vote on this proposal before we adjourn at the end of April.”

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