Jim Tomes (Taxpayer Friendly)

Watchdog Indiana Home Page Indiana General Assembly & Governor Ratings Legislative Voting Record

Address: 9412 Hwy 66, Wadesville, IN 47638
Phone: (812) 985-5473
E-mail:
jimtomes49th@gmail.com; S49@in.gov 
Website:
http://www.in.gov/legislative/senate_republicans/homepages/s49/index.htm; http://www.jimtomes.com/index.html  

2013 General Assembly Voting Record
Voted YES
on 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%.
Voted NO on 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.
Voted NO on 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.
Voted YES on 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.
Voted NO on Senate Bill 389, which was Taxpayer UNfriendly because it created the possibility for a minority of county income tax council members representing a minority of the county population to impose a county-wide motor vehicle excise surtax and wheel tax. 

2012 General Assembly Voting Record
Voted YES
on House Bill 1003, which is Taxpayer Friendly because (1) public access to government meetings and records is improved and (2) it is less likely that public agencies will intentionally violate the Public Access Laws.
Voted NO on House Bill 1005, which contains six Taxpayer Friendly local government Conflict Of Interest provisions and sixteen Taxpayer Friendly local government Nepotism provisions.
Voted YES on House Bill 1376, which is Taxpayer UNfriendly because (1) the automatic taxpayer refund excess reserves trigger is increased from 10% to 12.5% and (2) Hoosier working families will possibly receive an automatic taxpayer refund every even-numbered year instead of every year.
Voted YES on Senate Bill 25, which was Taxpayer Friendly because (if it had passed the House) much improved oversight would have been provided for redevelopment commissions and departments.

2011 General Assembly Voting Record
Voted YES
on House Bill 1001, which includes among its 16 Taxpayer Friendly state budget provisions no tax increases and an operating surplus in both the 2012 and 2013 fiscal years with a satisfactory reserve balance on June 30, 2013.
Voted NO on House Bill 1002, which is Taxpayer Friendly because (1) charter schools have the potential to help increase the academic growth of lower socioeconomic students, (2) the number of Indiana nonprofit private colleges and universities authorized to create charter schools is limited, (3) the Indianapolis mayor is the only Indiana mayor who may authorize charter schools, (4) conversion from a public school to a charter school is sufficiently stringent, and (5) property taxes are NOT improperly used to support charter schools.
Voted NO on House Bill 1003, which uses state K-12 tuition support money to fund scholarships for nonpublic school students and is Taxpayer UNfriendly because (1) nonpublic private and parochial schools are not equally open to all children, (2) nonpublic school budgets are not approved by a directly elected public body, (3) evidence-based research does not support greater school choice as a means to achieve overall educational improvement, (4) it is very likely unconstitutional, and (5) state tuition support dollars would go to nonpublic schools that are not uniformly distributed throughout the state.
Voted YES on House Bill 1022, which would have implemented a number of Taxpayer Friendly local government provisions related to nepotism and officeholder conflict-of-interest.
Voted YES on House Bill 1074, which provides that school board members selected by election must be elected at November general elections and is Taxpayer Friendly because the greater voter turnout in general elections will make it more difficult for local vested interests to unduly influence school board elections.

Watchdog Indiana Candidate Questions - November 2, 2010, General Election
1. QUESTION: Do you support or oppose the November 2, 2010, Constitutional Amendment to (a) make the 1% - 2% - 3% property tax caps permanent and (b) protect homestead property tax deductions from legal challenge? ANSWER: Yes. I would have liked to see a 1% cap for all categories, though.
2. QUESTION: How should the 2012-2013 state budget be balanced? Please address such issues as Medicaid spending, K-12 education, the possibility of a statewide income tax increase, and whether reserve funds should be replenished. ANSWER: Medicaid, Family Social Service Administration, Education and many other agencies throughout Indiana have budgets that are questionable and in some cases suspicious in my opinion. As a state senator I would like to examine the budgets and spending conducted by many of these agencies to see if their operation justifies their spending. We must corral the wastefulness of taxpayers money that has become a routine way of doing business, before any discussion about raising taxes or inventing a new tax. I firmly believe if we start at that point of addressing state budget proposals we will have a much more realistic picture of our financial status.
3. QUESTION: Do you pledge to maintain both the Homestead Standard Deduction and the Homestead Supplemental Deduction without ANY change to help homeowners control their property tax burden? ANSWER: Yes!
4.
QUESTION: Do you support changing the Indiana Code so approval of the General Assembly is required before I-69 becomes a toll road between I-64 and Martinsville? ANSWER: Yes!
5. QUESTION: Do you wish to make some additional comments about your candidacy? ANSWER: My wife and I have always lived within our budget. We are working class people who are now retired. I understand the value of a dollar and what it means to live within your means. If you don't have money in hand, then you don't buy it. We save up for what we want and all the folks in our circles live the same. I don't think it's expecting too much for government to operate the same (at one time it did). We need legislators who are a little more frugal and can be trusted to be good stewards of the peoples money and trust. I would be such a servant.

Watchdog Indiana Candidate Questions - May 4, 2010, Primary Election
1. QUESTION: Do you support or oppose the Constitutional Amendment on the November 2, 2010, statewide ballot? ANSWER: Yes, I support the amendment.
2. QUESTION: How should the 2012-2013 state budget be balanced? ANSWER: I'm holding a report in my hand of a Indiana state reserve statement released June 30, 2009 showing an estimated Medicaid Reserve of 57.6 million dollars and tuition reserve of 425 million dollars. But after reading down the entire list of expenditures and balances it appears the budget is still going to be 60 million dollars short by June 30, 2011. Increasing income taxes, in my opinion will only throw us in more of a tail spin. We must get control of the enormous spending that goes out on projects that are simple not urgent at the moment. Just like a household that cannot restrain from spending far beyond it's income neither can state government. Irresponsible administration and lack of frugality in the educational sector is one example. There is not enough time here to cover all the aspects on this monumental issue, but as a tax payer and retired on a fixed income I can assure you that there is absolutely a solution to our money problems and it does not require increasing taxes.
3. QUESTION: Do you pledge to maintain both the Homestead Standard Deduction and the Homestead Supplemental Deduction without ANY change? ANSWER: ABSOLUTELY!!! Beyond that, as a state senator I intend to examine why there is such a disparity among property values in homes that are in the same proximity that simply defies logic. I'm concerned about the qualifications of individuals charged with the duty of assessing.
4. QUESTION: Do you support changing the Indiana Code so approval of the General Assembly is required before I-69 becomes a toll road between I-64 and Martinsville? You can bank on that. This is another example of where we have traded a Republic for a Democracy. Matters such as this and others like it ought to and should be decided by the citizens by virtue of their elected representatives.
5. QUESTION: Do you wish to make some additional comments about your candidacy? ANSWER: I first ran for office in 2004 for state representative in District 76. I didn't get elected then and things have not improved all that much since. I've decided to run for state senate in District 49 for the same reasons as last time. We must get legislators from the general population who understand icy clear what the Constitution prescribes and that government is bound to operate within limits and to the expectations of the citizens and in a manner of integrity.

Watchdog Indiana Candidate Questions - November 2, 2004, Primary Election
1. Guiding Principles for 2005-07 Biennium Budget. Those on fixed incomes, small businesses and working class citizens of which Iím one, live on budgeted incomes. Some are very limited incomes and must live accordingly. Should we not expect our state government to live within its means as well? First we must plug the leaks, check wasteful spending. I would like to see a complete housecleaning of every agency (housing authorities, FSSA, BMV, etc.) in our state to eliminate the absolute wasteful spending. We canít keep adopting every new ďfeel goodĒ program that comes along, including those from the Federal level that is dangled in front of us with the promise of some start up money and then Indiana has to come up with a way to keep paying for it from there on. Indiana needs to structure its budget and the way it operates on its ordinary income, which are mainly tax revenues. The practice of relying on riverboat wagering revenues and settlements from lawsuits such as the tobacco settlement for setting budgets is risky because of unforeseen shortfalls that could occur. Careful spending based on known income would likely lead to a more stable government operating environment and any monies from other sources could be used to build a surplus once again and perhaps result in the elimination or reduction in existing taxes. I understand that government relies on taxes to fund it's operation and the many services that it provides but I feel that citizens have come to accept taxes and tax increases too willingly in exchange  for a larger government that most say they do not want. I am just not one who welcomes new and more taxes with open arms. I still say the solution to our dismal fiscal situation is cut waste.
2. Opinions on Homeowner Property Taxes. There has been talk in the past of dropping the property tax which I support wholeheartedly. I don't want to exchange that tax for another form of taxation. I don't believe it realistic to think that the legislature will eliminate the property tax which is one of their main sources of revenue until Indiana regains is financial stability. If our runaway spending were brought in check we could still maintain the services those agencies provide and ELIMINATE the property tax and not trade off for one under a different name.
3. Position on Indianapolis to Evansville Interstate. I-69 appears to be a "done deal." I personally don't think it will ever be completed in my life time. If the residents are willing to accept a new tax such as an increase in a gasoline tax that should be up to them in a vote. I don't support a toll road because the delays caused by stopping at a toll booth would cancel what little time travel this new road is supposed to afford.
4.
Additional Comments. In my opinion the most pressing issue is why are jobs and businesses leaving Indiana. Is it too many regulations or taxes, such as the inventory tax? We must insure that the jobs and industry currently existing in our state stay here. Itís better to keep and improve what we have, which will in turn entice new businesses to set up in a state that has a history of long established market place. With all the recent international trade arrangements now in place labor and management must work together to exist. Itís vital that workers in this Country have incomes that will allow them to maintain a standard of living that in turn keeps our economy healthy. Companies that provide fair and equitable pay and benefits in turn acquire employees who display good work ethics. This combination is what produces the best products and services in the market place. With your support and your authority, I would like to bring state government back to where it belongs, in the hands of its citizens.

Watchdog Indiana Candidate Questions - May 4, 2004, Primary Election
1. Guiding Principles for 2005-07 Biennium Budget. Our state needs a complete overhaul, agency by agency, to cut out wasteful spending. Two comes to mind quickly, BMV and State Police's program in the way they conduct background checks for gun purchases. Absolutely no more tax increases. If we check this runaway spending we could lower taxes or in some cases probably eliminate them.
2. Opinions on Homeowner Property Taxes. I would like to eliminate property tax and choose not to replace it with yet another tax. I still think a close and honest inspection of how fast our state spends carelessly could result in property tax elimination.
3. Exempting gasoline sales from the sales tax and increasing the gasoline tax by another 5 cents. I know that state government relies on taxes of some sort for revenues. I think we now pay 38 cents per gallon not counting sales tax in taxes on gasoline. I still prefer to get ahead of this snowball by examining spending.
4. Tax increases to build an interstate from Indianapolis to Evansville. With being a billion dollars in debt right now I don't think we can afford the interstate from Indianapolis to Evansville. I think Indiana needs to do what working class have to do, that is try saving money back for awhile.
5. Additional comments. I'm an average working class taxpayer. I think it's time we have someone like me who knows the value of a dollar. Who knows right from wrong. When to say yes and when to say no. 

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This page was last updated on 04/30/13 .