Eight Wabash Valley candidates who want to serve, or continue serving, in the state Legislature fielded questions Monday that dealt with issues such as canada goose uk shop property tax caps and local government revenue, free textbooks for school students and campaign finance reform.
The candidates for state representative (Districts 42, 45 and 46) and state senate (District 38) squared off in a forum at the Vigo County Public Library. The League of Women Voters of Vigo County, Vigo County Public Library and Tribune Star were co sponsors.
Those attending were House District 42 incumbent Alan Morrison, a Republican, and his opponent Mark Spelbring, Democrat; District 45 contenders Bionca Gambill, Democrat (who currently holds the seat) and challenger Bruce Borders, Republican.
Attending for canada goose outlet Indiana House District 46 was incumbent Bob Heaton, Republican, and challenger James R. Mann, Democrat. In the state senate race, 38th district, Democratic incumbent Tim Skinner attended as did Republican challenger Jon Ford.
One of the questions related to the impact of property tax caps. Moderator Betty Martin asked candidates, “How can we help local government entities. bring in more money at the local level?”
Borders responded, “There is always the assumption that somehow the public isn’t paying enough in taxes.” The answer might canada https://www.kabbalah-arizal.nl goose outlet uk be that government needs to spend taxpayer dollars more wisely and efficiently, he said.
Skinner said he dislikes property tax caps and official canada goose outlet doesn’t canada goose outlet online believe middle Canada Goose Outlet and lower income Hoosiers have benefited much. To get more money for local government without raising taxes, he said, “We need totake a look at the existing tax structure and try to divert more money away from the state back to the locals so they can spend it at their discretion.”
Ford said citizens canadian goose jacket voted in favor of property tax caps, which became part of the state constitution. “The people spoke,” he said. Tax caps have placeda burden on some local government entities, but not others, he said.
Vigo County seems to be doing well with property tax caps, “Our city not so much,” Ford said. “People need to make adjustments; things can’t always stay the same.” The state has provided some local options for local government. “So far our city council really hasn’t had the guts, I guess, to stand up and canada goose outlet increase the taxes because they apparently claim they need more money.”
Mann described it as a very significant issue, and that the District 46 representative”needs to work with local government to provide a means to rectify this situation.”
Heaton, echoing Ford, said voters approved property tax caps. One tool, he said, is a food and beverage tax for local government as a means to raise revenue, if canada goose outlet sale it is used for a specific purpose.
Spelbring said tax canada goose outlet reviews caps were a “bad idea.” He also said decisions about canada goose factory outlet a local food/beverage tax should be made at the local level. He also believes canada goose clearance state government could do a better job educating local officials about how to better manage money.
Morrison objects to the idea of raising more money for local government, which he interprets as “How can I get more money out of your wallet?” The answer is not increased taxes, he said, but instead, increasing the number of businesses and the tax base. The goal should be to improve the economy and business climate in Indiana, he said.
Gambill said she hears from small towns in her district that they are really getting squeezed because of lack of revenue. She has worked with them to try and procure grants.
Candidates were asked about whether they supported free textbooks for Indiana public school students. Invariably, candidates said they agreed with the idea or were open canada goose buy canada goose jacket outlet online uk to the discussion. But Mann, a teacher, suggested the law must state how long the books would be used, because there are several curriculum areas where books become outdated in a short period of time. Borders said he wouldn’t have a problem with textbooks being free to students, but he added someone must pay for the textbooks.
Ford said he would favor it, if the state can find the money to pay for it. But, “I don’t want the local school board to lose control over selecting the books.”
Candidates also were asked whether they would favor Canada Goose Online campaign canada goose outlet nyc finance reform for state offices. Skinner said he favored limits on what could be raised and spent. Ford said he could support campaign finance reform but would need a more specific proposal. He said canada goose outlet store he’s been “shocked” about how much it costs to run for office.
Gambill said canada Canada Goose online goose outlet uk sale yes, and Borders said he would need more specifics about “what it is you are looking to reform.”
Mann believes “You ought to know who is contributing to whose campaign.” Heaton said he would like to know more specifics about those reforms, but he pointed out there is a deadline Friday by which candidates must submit reports canada goose jacket outlet canada goose uk black friday related to contributions.
Spelbring said he’d be open to looking at campaign finance reform, while Morrison said Indiana has a very transparent system now. He, too, would like to know of specific reforms being proposed.