Indianapolis Business Journal Calls the Pence-RGA Campaign Ad “Pretty Misleading”

INDIANAPOLIS – This week, Mike Pence broke his promise of no negative campaigning when the Pence-RGA Campaign dropped a television ad attacking John Gregg’s record as Indiana’s Speaker of the House. However, members of the media didn’t buy it and Indiana’s top business journal called the ad “pretty misleading.”

“But RGA’s attacks on Gregg’s fiscal record are pretty misleading. Through much of Gregg’s tenure as speaker, the state’s reserves were massive at 24 percent of state spending.” – Indianapolis Business Journal

“Mike Pence breaks his promise on no negative campaigning, and what we get is a misleading television ad that’s not based on facts,” said John Zody, Chairman. “Gov. Pence is going negative because Hoosiers aren’t buying the canned talking points his campaign is selling. The fact is, Hoosiers are working more for less, are tired of their governor putting social issues ahead of the state, and are ready to hire John Gregg as their next governor.”
BACKGROUND INFORMATION: JOHN GREGG’S TENURE AS INDIANA’S SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE

Pence/RGA Charge:     “…helped turn a $2 billion surplus into a massive deficit”

Facts:    Brian Bosma and John Gregg shared Governing Magazine’s 2002 Public Official of the Year Award. [Governing, 2002]

Bosma: “I think John (Gregg) and I both realize that while political position certainly plays a part in the legislative process, responsible adults have to bring the process to a responsible close for the benefit of those who are governed.”

“The final product didn’t please anyone entirely, perhaps least of all Gregg and Bosma, who both voted ‘no.’ But the pair was able to work together to pool what votes were needed to pass a bill that modernized a badly outmoded tax code. The two hugged emotionally when the vote was over. ‘I think John and I both realize,’ Bosma says, ‘that while political position certainly plays a part in the legislative process, responsible adults have to bring the process to a responsible close for the benefit of those who are governed.’” [Governing, 2002]

Indianapolis Star Editorial: “Lawmakers put aside personal and political agendas to pass a needed tax and budget bill.”

“Lawmakers put aside personal and political agendas to pass a needed tax and budget bill. Painful but necessary. In passing HB 1001 this weekend, the Indiana General Assembly has protected Hoosiers from a coming tax-and-budget explosion. With time running out on their special session, lawmakers did what needed to be done to keep property taxes low, boost Indiana’s economy and close a $1 billion budget gap. The bill passed Saturday wasn’t perfect, but it was a good deal better than earlier versions and it contained necessary ingredients to address the state’s most serious economic issues, which included an imminent spike in property taxes in 2003 following reassessment, the increasingly hostile tax environment facing Indiana businesses and red ink that was threatening deep cuts in essential human services and education.” [Indianapolis Star, 6/24/02]

Pence/RGA Charge:    “…supported higher taxes on Indiana families and business…”

Facts:    In the 2002 restructuring, “the legislature provided approximately $1 billion in property tax relief for homeowners.”

“The 2002 reassessment was based on 1999 market values and the first time the market value-in-use system of assessment was used. Many homeowners experienced dramatic property tax increases, especially those with well-maintained older homes that had been under-assessed for many years. The prior system failed to take into account remodeling and rehabilitation of older properties. In response to the increase in residential taxes, the legislature provided approximately $1 billion in property tax relief for homeowners. However, property tax relief continued to be a growing expense for the state. In 2007, to assist in balancing the state budget, the General Assembly capped property tax relief to homeowners for the first time at approximately $2 billion.” [IACED, January 2008]

The 2002 restructuring deal began the elimination of the inventory tax by offering a 100 percent deduction.

“This is the beginning of the end of Indiana’s inventory tax.  Starting with inventories assessed in 2006, for taxes payable in 2007, there will be a 100% deduction applied to the assessed values of inventories.  Inventories will be assessed, but they won’t be taxed.  Until then a more generous exemption will be applied to certain types of inventories.  Counties can decide to impose an income tax, and use the revenue to end the inventory tax sooner.  The $37,500 credit was an earlier inventory tax break that will be obsolete now that inventories won’t be taxed.” [Purdue Agriculture Economy, As Accessed 5/15/2016]

Pence/RGA Charge:     “…did side work for scandal-ridden Enron….

Fact:    John Gregg did zoning work to construct a power plant.

“I had represented a company in Knox County that had built a power plan. An attorney doing legal work out of Louisville had called and asked me if I’d help him do some of the zoning. I do a lot of zoning work; it’s a large percentage of my income from the Vincennes law office. The company would pay me but I worked with their independent attorney, who was a great guy to work with. I didn’t think anything of it. I did stuff for them off and on for a year and a half, on their power plant and related issues. The company—well, you’d recognize the name, it was known as Enron—sadly went in the tank.” [“From Sandborn to the Statehouse,” pp 132-133]

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