INDIANAPOLIS | Gov. Mike Pence is urging state lawmakers leave in place his veto of a retroactive income tax increase the Legislature approved in April for two Indiana counties.
House Enrolled Act 1546 legalizes extra tax revenue collected by Pulaski County since 2006 and Jackson County since 2011 even though authorization had expired for the higher tax rates used by both counties to pay for their jails.
It was one of three measures vetoed last month by the first-year governor.
The Republican-controlled General Assembly is set to meet Wednesday in a rare one-day session to consider enacting the proposal into law despite the Republican governor's objection.
In a two-page letter sent Monday to lawmakers, Pence explained he vetoed the proposal because Hoosiers should not be forced to pay taxes they do not owe.
"We should take the course that will maintain public confidence in the integrity of our system of taxation, a system that should ensure the people know and help determine how much of their hard-earned pay is taxed for the benefit of their communities," Pence said.
A simple majority vote by the House and Senate is all that's needed to override Pence's veto. The legislation originally passed 98-0 in the House and 48-1 in the Senate.
Senate President Davd Long, R-Fort Wayne, has said the measure is needed because it would be almost impossible for the counties to refund the extra income tax collections and the state's bond rating could suffer if the counties default on loan payments.
Pence said his administration is prepared to take steps that will make taxpayers whole without putting the counties in an untenable financial position.