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The veto override vs. the tax pledge

Wednesday's veto override posed an interesting question – did the legislators who voted for the bill to remain in law break a no-tax pledge?

House Bill 1546 contained key provisions that retroactively made legal collections of expired local option income taxes in two counties, and continued the taxes into the future.

Without action to override the veto, those taxes in Jackson and Pulaski would have ceased and taxpayers would have received refunds for taxes collected that weren't authorized.

Twenty-eight current Indiana state lawmakers have signed the Americans for Tax Reform pledge that promises to "oppose and vote against any and all efforts to increase taxes."

Of those 28, all but one supported the bill when it passed at the end of session. So some could argue they already broke the pledge.

Wednesday's vote had 25 of the 28 support the bill and the override.

Locally, Sen. Jim Banks,R-ColumbiaCity, has signed the pledge and voted against the bill and the override. Sen. Dennis Kruse, R-Auburn, also signed the pledge but supported the override.

In the House, Rep. Martin Carbaugh, R-Fort Wayne, and Rep. David Ober, R-Albion, are the only area legislators to sign the pledge. Both voted for the override.

House Speaker Brian Bosma said some have speculated the vote will be used in campaigns against the members. But he contends the overall bill is a tax decrease because there are several tax credits also in the measure.

He said Americans for Tax Reform is neutral on the bill.

To contact Niki Kelly email at nkelly@jg.net or follow her on Twitter @nkellyatJG.

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