Taylor on State of the State: It’s up to the governor to sell Hoosiers on tax increases

January 18, 2017 Joe Taylor

For immediate release:
Jan. 17, 2017

INDIANAPOLIS – State Rep. Joe Taylor (D-South Bend) today issued the following statement after listening to Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb’s first State of the State speech:

“The governor talked about a lot of things tonight, but this speech and its impact upon the rest of this session will be based on one idea: Can he convince the people of Indiana to support tax increases to pay for infrastructure improvements?

“Times are still difficult for many people across this state, and it’s difficult for me to stand here now and say I will vote to add to their burden by paying more at the pump. We are in the middle of giving the well-to-do in our state millions and millions of dollars in tax breaks, yet we are asking average Hoosiers to pay more to improve roads and bridges that are used by all of us.

“We all agree that our infrastructure has to be improved. It is a key in the future growth of our economy, both in delivering goods and for people who are just trying to get to work.

“But I want to make sure that all avenues are explored before we start taxing our working families. Let’s make sure that all the taxes we pay at the pump are used to fix the roads we drive. Let us explore delaying tax cuts for the very rich to provide more funding for these needed projects. I certainly will need a lot of convincing to agree to tolling more roads, especially those that already have been built.

“I believe we need to support an expansion of early education through our pre-K program, and I also support this governor’s efforts to expand our fight against drug addiction. I certainly want to see our state do more to train our workforce so that it can continue to serve as our great economic development tool. These are all admirable goals.

“I do think we need to stop thinking of vouchers and charters as the answer to everything that we can do to improve the quality of education for kids in K-12. Let us do more to support the public schools that have a constitutional responsibility to educate all our children, not just a select few.

“The governor has set a mighty task for himself. It will be interesting to see if he can convince members of his own party to support tax increases. I will wait and examine his evidence before making a decision.”