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Indiana Democrats propose more immediate tax relief for Hoosiers

Brandon Smith / IPB News
Sen. Tim Lanane (D-Anderson) and Rep. Greg Porter (D-Indianapolis) said the state can afford to suspend the gas tax for three months to help Hoosiers struggling with high prices at the pump.

As Republicans finalize their tax cut package this session, Indiana Democrats are proposing more immediate relief for Hoosiers.

And that includes a temporary suspension of the state’s gas tax.

The Republican tax bill aims to cut the state’s individual income tax by about 10 percent over seven years, meaning the average Hoosier likely won’t notice much difference in their paycheck.

Democrats want to shorten that window to just four years. And Sen. Tim Lanane (D-Anderson) said they also want a three-month suspension of the state gas tax and sales tax on gasoline – which could save people around $12 per fill-up.

“It’ll provide that immediate relief when you drive up and fill up your tank at the gas station,” Lanane said.

READ MORE: Holcomb lays out tax cut specifics, proposes bigger individual income tax cut

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Doing so would cost the state around $300 million in revenue, much of which goes to road construction. Rep. Greg Porter (D-Indianapolis) said the state can cover that cost.

“We have the $5 billion surplus, $200 million since December," Porter said. "We have the money to backfill those lost revenues.”

Republican legislators have dismissed the idea of suspending those gas taxes. There’s some question as to whether Gov. Eric Holcomb could temporarily suspend them without legislative approval.

Contact reporter Brandon at or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

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Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.