The Interim Study Committee on Fiscal Policy recently wrapped up its work after meeting three times. The group looked at issues related to the sales tax on food sold through vending machines, taxes charged in connection with hotel booking services, residential property taxes in redeveloping areas, tax increment financing, non-profit property assessments and the condition of a couple of financially-struggling school districts.

Of more general import was the presentation from the Legislative Services Agency (LSA) of its statutorily required, ongoing review/analysis/evaluation of tax incentives. This year’s report covered many of the credits and deductions that are important to businesses and business development, such as the venture capital investment credit and the research expense credit, and data on property tax abatements and certified technology. The LSA report is a very informational (and lengthy) document that you should find interesting – or at least as interesting as a report on tax incentives can be.

Also, something not on the original agenda: The committee received a report from the Indiana Department of Revenue (DOR) regarding its practices for collecting, handling and maintaining records. This is an issue raised by the Indiana Chamber last session and was addressed in SB 440, which required the DOR to study its internal record-keeping with respect to audits and protests.

The results, set out in the attached document, are little more than an outline of DOR’s current file keeping procedures – procedures that some involved in the system continue to believe are insufficient. Of particular concern is what is retained in the DOR files as a case makes its way through the process. While the report offers nothing revolutionary in terms of insight or possible changes, it does serve as a good basis for focusing on improvements to the overall process going forward.

The committee concluded its activity but made no findings or recommendations. The exhibits and minutes of the meetings, as well as videos of testimony, are available for review.

Resource: Bill Waltz at (317) 264-6887 or email: [email protected]