State lawmakers will return for a special session on July 6

Everything is set for state lawmakers to return to the state capitol on July 6 for a special session of the legislature.

The plan is to tackle an inflationary relief package proposed by Governor Eric Holcomb. It would net $225, $700 to married couples, individual Hoosiers who filed state taxes in 2021.

“This is the quickest, fairest and most effective way to return hard-earned taxpayer dollars during a time of economic hardship,” Governor Holcomb said in an emailed statement. “Indiana’s economy is growing and with more than $1 billion in revenue over current projections, Hoosier taxpayers deserve to have their money returned responsibly.”

Some Democrats, like state Rep. Greg Porter (D-Indianapolis), couldn’t agree more.

“I’m glad (Holcomb) finally took the initiative to step forward to try to help the hurting Hoosiers,” Porter told WISH-TV. “We have a $7 billion surplus. We need to give those dollars back to the people who helped build that surplus.

Still, Porter believes the state can afford to do more, such as suspending the state gas tax. This tax will increase even more from the extra 56 cents you now pay on July 1. Porter hopes Republicans will be open to at least discussing it further.

“If we don’t, then we’re neglecting Hoosiers,” Porter said. “It really bothers me. It’s about ‘the human infrastructure that we have to take care of in our state.’

Many economists agree that the state can afford to suspend its gas tax. Dr. Matt Will, an economist at the University of Indianapolis, said last week that it was a better plan for the state to suspend its tax than for the federal government to suspend federal gasoline taxes.

“Reducing the gas tax is a good idea. It doesn’t cause inflation because the state government can’t print money,” Will said on WIBC’s Tony Katz Today. “The feds cutting the gas tax can cause inflation if it does it temporarily like Biden wants.”

With that, President Biden is asking Congress to approve a three-month “tax holiday” during which the federal government’s 18-cent gas tax would be suspended. It also calls on states to suspend their gasoline taxes at the state level to help lower the price of gasoline. It’s something Porter hopes they can find common ground on.