NEW ALBANY, IN (WDRB) --Indiana's governor says his proposed state budget promotes economic growth through tax cuts. Mike Pence brought his message of tax relief to southern Indiana on Thursday afternoon.
But can the governor get his budget through the statehouse the way he wants it?
While in southern Indiana, Governor Pence helped to cut the ribbon on a new business for New Albany -- Ronaldo Designer Jewelry.
It is a family-owned company whose workers hand make custom jewelry. The business just moved its production operation from Lanconia, Indiana to a once vacant building in downtown New Albany on the corner of Pearl and Elm Streets.
With the move came 40 workers. But the company says it will double that number by the end of the year and plans to hire hundreds more workers in the years to come.
"The growth of this company here in the Hoosier State," says Governor Pence, "demonstrates one thing, and that one thing is that clearly southern Indiana is open for business."
Earlier on Thursday before an audience of the New Albany Rotary Club, Governor Pence promoted his plans for a ten percent reduction in the personal income tax rate for workers and small businesses like Ronaldo Designer Jewelry.
The governor maintains tax savings will be re-invested by business owners to expand and create more jobs. "If we lower the income tax in Indiana by ten percent," the governor told his audience, "it would be official -- Indiana would be the lowest tax state in the Midwest and we might just have to put that on our welcome to Indiana billboard when people come across the river."
The manager of Ronaldo Jewelry, Mike Scheser, says his business would benefit from such a tax cut. "That's what we are looking for," says Scheser, "we are looking to grow more here in New Albany; we appreciate the governor doing these types of things and pushing for that because we need those things our business."
The governor believes tax relief would put an extra $500 million a year back into the Indiana economy.
But the governor still has to convince many state lawmakers. Many legislative leaders, even some of those in his own party, don't support the ten percent tax reduction.
Governor Pence has until the end of April to try to win the legislative leaders over to his side.
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