(Indianapolis, Ind.) - Indiana House Republicans are blocking a vote on Governor Mike Pence's tax cut with a promise to take up the issue in April.
Republicans, behind the strength of their supermajority in the House, voted along party lines to keep House Democrats from forcing a vote on the tax cut Thursday, the Associated Press reports. The effort came as lawmakers advanced a $30 billion biennial budget that swaps the cut for more spending on schools and roads.
Pence’s budget submitted in January – about $1 billion less in scope – included a 10 percent cut in the state’s individual income tax rate. It would have lowered the rate from 3.4 percent to 3.06 percent.
"I am very disappointed in the House budget proposal,” Pence said when House Republicans debuted their two-year spending plan last week. “Despite having the largest budget surplus in history, this House budget increases spending without giving hardworking Hoosiers one cent of new tax relief.”
The governor made the tax cut a major part of his election campaign last year. He continues to argue that Indiana can afford it.
House Minority Leader Scott Pelath (D-Michigan City) said Pence deserves an up-or-down vote on his top priority. But Republican Rep. Jerry Torr argued that any vote should wait until after lawmakers see an updated economic forecast in April.
A budget bill must be passed before the 2013 Legislative Session ends April 29.