(INDIANAPOLIS) — Indiana Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Kevin Brinegar comments on Gov. Eric Holcomb’s legislative agenda announced today.
“We see evidence everyday of Indiana’s economic and job accomplishments. This agenda – particularly clarifying software-as-a-service (SaaS) tax treatment, increased management of our water resources, accelerating efforts on autonomous vehicles and expanding STEM opportunities through increased computer science education – properly looks toward the future and will help ensure those successes continue.”
More detailed analysis:
“The Indiana Chamber agrees it’s important to clarify the exempt status of cloud-based services and SaaS. These have become crucial components of almost every business in Indiana.
“Right now, there is confusion and inconsistency regarding the state’s tax treatment of these services. Having clarity on the exemption would help to grow Indiana’s software developer economy, as well as prevent harmful taxation of other inputs throughout the business community. Imposing tax on these business costs makes Indiana a less favorable location to headquarter or expand a business.
“Another positive action is recognizing the eventuality of autonomous vehicles in how we move people and goods. Indiana is currently not a leader in this area, but accelerating efforts like the Governor suggests will enable the state to better seize this economic development opportunity that is only going to grow larger.
“Access to water is definitely a jobs and economic development issue. Our state’s economy is growing more diverse, but we always will make things. And it often takes large, reliable supplies of water to do so. The Indiana Chamber supports prudent and effective water resource management and identified the need in our 2014 study.
“The Indiana Chamber is a big proponent of providing more STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) opportunities for Hoosier students. As we increase the number of jobs in the tech sector, the Governor’s proposal to have all schools offer computer science by 2021 is much needed to improve the skills gap. And in general, making K-12 better aligned with business needs should be a priority so students have access to explore the skills that are in demand.
“The Governor’s multi-pronged approach to the state’s opioid epidemic appropriately recognizes the depth of the problem. We learned in our annual employer survey how pervasive the issue has become. While it’s obviously a personal and life-affecting issue, it’s also something businesses are having to work around with absences, performance problems and even leaving jobs unfilled.”
The Indiana Chamber partners with 25,000 members and investors – representing over four million Hoosiers – to achieve the mission of “cultivating a world-class environment which provides economic opportunity and prosperity.”