Mike Pence (Taxpayer Friendly)
Watchdog Indiana Home Page Indiana General Assembly & Governor Ratings Legislative Voting Record
Address: Office of the Governor, Statehouse, Indianapolis, IN
2013 General Assembly Record
Signed House Bill 1001, which is Taxpayer Friendly because the 2013-15 state budget makes better use of the existing state Gasoline Tax and state Sales Tax revenues from gasoline purchases with NO NEW TRANSPORTATION TAX INCREASES to increase transportation funding for INDOT by 11%, cities and towns by 34%, and counties by 23%.
Signed House Bill 1011, which is Taxpayer Friendly because construction of a costly light rail transportation system cannot be approved by a new central Indiana transit district before March 14, 2014.
Signed House Bill 1313, which is Taxpayer Friendly because it (1) supports the establishment of a 2013 interim committee to study local government regulation of residential leases and (2) prohibits a local government from adopting regulations for landlord licensing, mandatory landlord classes, and rental inspection and registration fees until July 1, 2014.
Signed Senate Bill 319, which is Taxpayer Friendly because it prevents a significant shift of the property tax burden to farm working families by (1) using the current soil productivity factors until 2015 and (2) requiring the Department of Local Government Finance to confer with the College of Agriculture of Purdue University and submit a 2013 interim study committee report on soil productivity factors.
Watchdog Indiana Candidate Questions - November 6, 2012, General Election
1. QUESTION: What are your priorities regarding the 2013-2015 state budget? ANSWER: A full description of my fiscal policy for the FY 2014/2015 budget can be found on my website at www.mikepence.com/issues under the heading “Putting Taxpayers First.” In summary, Indiana must continue to pass balanced budgets without gimmicks or tax increases. Each budget must be structurally balanced, meaning that our annual expenses should not exceed the annual revenue collected by the state. In addition to a healthy structural budget surplus, it is important that the state continue to maintain adequate reserves. Currently, the state has very healthy reserve levels, exceeding $2.1 billion in FY 2012 and projected to exceed $2 billion at the end of FY 2013. With a structural budget surplus in place, the state should allocate the structural surplus to permanent tax relief and further strengthening of our reserves. That’s why I have called for a 10 percent, across-the-board reduction in the state’s individual income tax rate, as well as maintaining reserves at a minimum level of 12.5 percent of appropriations. This plan is fiscally responsible, puts taxpayers first, and will create an environment in which the private sector can grow as opposed to the government. RECORD (from campaign website): Practice the fiscal and debt management necessary for Indiana to maintain a top credit rating. Reduce wasteful spending by adopting performance-based budgeting. Enhance taxpayer transparency with a robust commitment to public disclosure at the state and local level. Support a permanent fix to the soil productivity factor issue in the agriculture land assessment formula. Benchmark and improve the competitiveness of our agricultural tax structure.
2. QUESTION: Should the non-transportation appropriations from the state’s Motor Vehicle Highway Account be transferred to the state’s General Fund so more of our Indiana Gasoline Tax dollars can be properly spent to meet our transportation needs? ANSWER: I am open to that conversation. Hoosiers should know that when they pay gas taxes to the State, that those taxes will go toward a safe and sustainable transportation infrastructure. I do believe this includes safe highways that are adequately patrolled by State Police. If I am elected governor, I intend to convene a blue ribbon panel of infrastructure experts to plan the future of Indiana’s investments in infrastructure, including transportation.
3. QUESTION: Should the Automatic Taxpayer Refund law be (a) improved to make refunds more likely, (b) kept as it is, or (c) eliminated? ANSWER: Those who govern should always remember that the dollars in their possession first belonged to a taxpayer. As I have stated on numerous occasions, I firmly believe Indiana’s surpluses should be used to grow the private sector and not the government. Whenever possible, we should return tax dollars to the taxpayers. That is why if I have the privilege of becoming Governor, I will call for a 10 percent, across-the-board, reduction in the state’s individual income tax rate. With our projected budget surpluses, I believe it is time to grant tax relief.
4. QUESTION: Do you pledge to maintain both the Homestead Standard Deduction and the Homestead Supplemental Deduction without ANY change? ANSWER: I am strongly opposed to actions that raise Hoosiers’ tax burden, and I accordingly oppose making any changes to those property tax deductions.
5. QUESTION: What is your position regarding township government reform? ANSWER: As with all government reform, I believe that government is at its best when it is closest to the people. I understand that local government serves as the first line of defense in most all matters. Accordingly, I support the decisions of locals in deciding how best to structure and run their community and to decide who is best suited to perform such functions. With that being said, I also believe that government, at all levels, should constantly seek to provide necessary services in a cost-effective manner. A Mike Pence Administration would constantly and consistently review all levels of government, from the state level to the township level, to evaluate and improve upon responsiveness, efficiency, and transparency.
6. QUESTION: What is your position regarding redevelopment commissions oversight? ANSWER: The Indiana General Assembly has made considered policy decisions in determining the balance of redevelopment commission authority and necessary local legislative oversight. I support the decisions of locals in deciding how best to run their community as long as they act in a transparent manner toward taxpayers. Whether at the state level or the local level, government should be as transparent as possible. Taxpayers have a right to know how their dollars are being spent. We need more contracts searchable online, more understandable reports on tax credits, deductions, exemptions, and abatements, and we need to take a fresh look at how we collect and present local tax and spending data. The more we can do to make government spending transparent, the better stewards we will be with taxpayer funds.
7. QUESTION: Do you wish to make some additional comments about your candidacy? ANSWER: To learn more about my plan for Indiana, visit http://www.roadmapforindiana.com/. RECORD (from campaign website): Freeze new regulations for business to reduce red tape. Review existing regulations, business fees, and regulatory performance metrics. Push back against job-killing federal regulations by establishing an Office of State-Based Initiatives. Establish a 3% state contracting goal for veteran-owned businesses. Task the Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) to vigorously promote, in Congress and overseas, the opening of additional markets for Indiana agricultural products. Embrace and support the creation of an Agriculture Innovation Corridor in Indiana. Support coordination between the ISDA, the Department of Education (DOE), and our educators on the development of agricultural curriculum in our schools. Enhance collaboration between universities and businesses by creating the Indiana Applied Research Enterprise. Create an Executive Innovation Network charged with bringing more entrepreneurship, capital, and business expertise to university-based innovation. Create a "Jobs Cabinet" comprised of CEOs who will serve as ambassadors for Indiana’s economic environment. Establish regional Indiana Works Councils to boost high school technical diplomas. Task the Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) to vigorously promote, in Congress and overseas, the opening of additional markets for Indiana agricultural products. Streamline the leadership of Indiana’s state energy policy by relocating energy-related positions and associated funding to the Office of Energy Development. Task the Office of Energy Development with creating a state energy plan that meets Indiana’s energy needs by removing barriers, creating opportunities for greater consumer choice, diversifying resources, commercializing new technologies, and pursuing an "all of the above" energy mix. Task the Office of Energy Development with establishing a process for coordinating with research institutions, entrepreneurs, and investors to facilitate the commercialization of new energy technologies. Work with stakeholders to develop strategies for effectively addressing our need to upgrade our electricity generation and transmission infrastructure. Support quality, community pre-K initiatives and examine opportunities to increase access to pre-K for underprivileged children. Support expanded choice, access to quality schools and continue to ensure that Indiana is on the cutting edge of charter school innovation. Fund excellence by increasing rewards for great schools and great teachers. Create regional Indiana Works Councils (IWCs) with membership including representation from employers and educators. Task each IWC to deliver to the state, by November 1, 2013, a comprehensive evaluation of career, technical and vocational educational opportunities for high school students within its region. Beginning January 1, 2014, empower the IWCs to draft alternative curriculum, subject to approval by the State Board of Education, which offers high school students opportunities to pursue internships and apprenticeships, learn from qualified instructors, and ultimately earn an industry certification or be on a career pathway to a high-wage, high-demand job. Re-brand the Core40 with Technical Honors1 as the Core40 Career degree and communicate to students the potential earnings associated with each degree pathway. Make college more affordable by focusing the state's college funding on programs that decrease the cost of degree completion. Reward Hoosier college students for on-time and early graduation by reallocating a portion of existing student grants to return a portion of the cost savings that the state recognizes to the student. Focus the state’s education funding on programs that will decrease the cost of, and expedite progress toward, degree completion including the following: dual credit courses in high school (e.g., enhanced CTE pathways), accelerated college degree programs, online and blended learning courses, and competency-based learning models (e.g., Western Governors University). Utilize state financial aid responsibly by requiring students to make meaningful progress along degree completion milestones to receive continued financial aid funding. Reward public colleges and universities that increase degree completion through increasing the weight of on-time degree completion in the performance funding formula. Require public colleges and universities to commit to on-time degree pathways for each student seeking an associate or bachelor’s degree, and to bear the costs of any credits in excess of the greater of 60 credits or 2 years/120 credits1 or 4 years, if the student follows the pathway and maintains a satisfactory GPA. Resist efforts to implement the federal health-care law in Indiana and promote Hoosier solutions like the Healthy Indiana Plan. Promote adoption by lifting means testing for school scholarships for families that adopt and/or provide care for foster children. Issue an executive order requiring all relevant state agencies to draft a Family Impact Statement when they adopt new rules and regulations. Increase veterans’ access to federal benefits by enhancing training for veteran service officers.
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