Pres. Brinegar Offers Chamber’s Reaction to State Budget Deal

Earlier today, Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma and Indiana Senate President David Long announced a deal had been reached on House Bill 1001, the two-year state budget. Indiana Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Kevin Brinegar reacts to the budget provisions:

"The new state budget has a strong focus on jobs and economic growth, putting additional investments into education and workforce development while also making important tax cuts.

"Trimming the individual income tax rate by 5% will not only benefit working Hoosiers but also many of the state's smallest business owners.

"It was particularly important to see some K-12 funding restored (cut during the last budget process) and more dollars targeted for our highways and infrastructure system.

"Meanwhile, the immediate elimination of the inheritance tax is long overdue and will lift a significant burden off of small, family-owned businesses.

"We commend House and Senate leaders, the governor's office and all those who got the budget to where it is — fiscally sound and including a wide variety of positive provisions for Hoosiers."

Sunshine State Illuminates Those Looking for Lower Taxes

The St. Petersburg Times reports how Florida is drawing wealthy new citizens, as well as business owners put off by income tax hikes in states like New York.

Nancy Bell doesn’t consider herself rich. But as part-owner of Science First, a maker of science products for schools, Bell is in the $200,000-plus a year category and was facing higher income taxes in New York.

"In a way they are almost vilifying company owners saying we should pay more," Bell said.

Facing both higher income taxes and lost incentives for investing in a "gritty" part of Buffalo, Bell decided to move the family-owned, 40-year-old company out of New York.

Last month, Science First opened its new headquarters in Yulee, north of Jacksonville. Two of Bell’s sons are running the operation.

Bell, 60, said she was saddened leaving her longtime home but uplifted by the community response in Florida. "Nassau County was very, very receptive to us. We can’t say enough," she said.