Indiana legislators gathered Wednesday on the first regular technical session of the 118th General Assembly to vote on whether to override Gov. Mike Pence’s veto of House Enrolled Act 1546, a bill concerning tax administration matters. Pence vetoed the bill over concerns about retroactive approval of taxes collected in Jackson and Pulaski counties.
The House of Representatives voted 68 to 23 to override the veto. The Senate later voted 34-12 to override the veto.
“If Hoosiers owe taxes, they should pay them. But when Hoosiers pay taxes that are not owed, they deserve relief. House Enrolled Act 1546-2013 did not meet that standard. It would approve, after the fact, the collection of taxes that were not owed. While there are valuable elements of this legislation, retroactive approval of taxes collected is not the best remedy, and for that reason I vetoed this legislation,” Pence wrote in a letter to legislators.
Since mid- 2011, taxpayers in Jackson County have paid a special local income tax rate no longer authorized by law; those in Pulaski County have paid a similar special local income tax rate since mid-2006. The money collected paid for jail operating costs. The legislation extended the period in which those counties may collect those taxes to July 1.
House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, and Senate President David Long, R-Fort Wayne, issued a joint statement Monday disagreeing with the veto. They point to the other elements of the bill, including help for veterans and their surviving spouses and making it easier for out-of-state businesses to help with disaster emergency relief in Indiana.