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Indiana tax review task force begins work, with goal for some to eliminate income tax

The northwestern exterior of the Indiana Statehouse.
Brandon Smith
IPB News
A two-year task force is tasked with studying Indiana's entire tax system.

Indiana lawmakers Wednesday launched a two-year task force taking a comprehensive look at the state’s tax system — with the goal for some to eliminate the state’s individual income tax.

The Senate Republican caucus has been the primary driver behind the task force. Sen. Travis Holdman (R-Markle) has been a leading proponent for the last several months of finding a way to eliminate the state’s individual income tax — which brings in nearly $8 billion a year.

Holdman hopes to do something “transformational” but said nothing is off the table.

“Perhaps we will find that it isn’t the will of the legislature or our constituents to do much more than tweak the work that has already come to be done over the last couple of decades,” Holdman said.

READ MORE: Indiana Senate Republican leaders want to eliminate state income tax by end of decade

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Rep. Ed DeLaney (D-Indianapolis) said the task force needs to dive deep into the details of what the state spends its money on — evaluating whether programs are working or not.

“We need to get over this headline-grabbing business where we’re going to announce we’re going to eliminate a tax or cut a tax,” DeLaney said. “That’s not fiscally prudent.”

The first meeting included overviews of the state’s revenue outlook and existing debt.

Brandon is our Statehouse bureau chief. Contact him at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Brandon Smith has covered the Statehouse for Indiana Public Broadcasting for more than a decade, spanning three governors and a dozen legislative sessions. He's also the host of Indiana Week in Review, a weekly political and policy discussion program seen and heard across the state. He previously worked at KBIA in Columbia, Missouri and WSPY in Plano, Illinois. His first job in radio was in another state capitol - Jefferson City, Missouri - as a reporter for three stations around the Show-Me State.