In a 68-23 vote, the Indiana House of Representatives has overridden Governor Mike Pence’s veto of House Enrolled Act 1546, which had passed unanimously out of the House with only one dissenting vote in the Senate. The bill addressed a number of tax issues, most notably the Local Option Income Tax for Jackson and Pulaski counties, and provided benefits for surviving spouses of deceased veterans. The bill also made it easier for out-of-state business to help with disaster emergency relief in Indiana.
Elected representatives returned to the Statehouse today to address the most cost-effective solution; that is, the override of Pence’s veto – the first time the legislature has convened on technical corrections day since the option was created in 1995.
Speaker Brian Bosma said that considering the expense and unwieldiness of the administrative solution presented and the overwhelming support in both Pulaski and Jackson counties, officials needed to return to the Statehouse and provide the counties with an immediate solution.
Pence, however, stands by his veto, and his office issued a statement stating that he regrets it was not upheld by the Indiana General Assembly. The release stated, “when Hoosiers pay taxes that are not owed, they should be offered relief. Hoosiers can be assured that Governor Pence and his administration will continue to put taxpayers first.”
Pulaski County Commissioner Larry Brady said on behalf of the county commissioners, they appreciate the urgency that the General Assembly placed on the issue and is thankful it has been resolved.
Had the General Assembly not reconvened to address the bill, the veto would have required more than 1000 employers in the two counties to make adjustments in the middle of the year to their payrolls, which would have affected more than 20,000 employees. Jail operations could have also been placed in jeopardy, as the two counties needed the funds to pay for the ongoing costs of operating the jails.
State Representative Doug Gutwein said in a press statement, “By overriding the veto of HEA 1546, we have resolved a dire situation affecting Pulaski County taxpayers. Honest mistakes happen and what occurred in Pulaski County was the result of a human error. HEA 1546 was crafted to provide a solution to that mistake and by overriding the veto, the Legislature showed its continued commitment to do what is right for taxpayers.”
“HEA 1546 provides a common sense solution to address this human error by extending the funds for the jail and justice center until 2021. Additionally, HEA 1546 includes provisions that benefit the surviving spouses of a deceased veterans as well as providing exemptions for out-of-state businesses helping Hoosiers perform emergency disaster relief. I am pleased that the veto was overridden to address the needs of our community, and I will continue to work to protect Pulaski County taxpayers,” Gutwein said.