As things are quickly wrapping up in the statehouse, only a few bills remain for final revisions before making their way to Governor Holcomb. Throughout this short legislative session, the Chamber has been watching several bills that have the potential to affect its business members with special attention on:
HB 1001: In the wake of the Omicron variant, legislators at the beginning of the short session considered the effectiveness of vaccine mandates and the role of private employers. This bill received a great deal of attention from those outside the statehouse for its loose exemption guidelines that were approved by the House mid-January. Recognizing the implications of this, the Senate amended this provision to mimic federal regulations regarding religious or medical exemptions in mid-February. Under this new law, private employers are not allowed to enforce a vaccine mandate without providing opportunities for employees to apply for exemption. Firing employees who apply for exemption could result in businesses paying for unemployment. New versions of the bill also take away the burden of COVID testing costs from the employer and places it on the employee or state to cover.
HB 1002: In its original form, HB 1002 confronted various tax matters with a major point of discussion being the removal of the 30% floor for Indiana’s Business Personal Property Tax. House Representatives approved this bill at the end of January before sending it over to the Senate where it was gutted by worried officials in early March. Now, House and Senate legislators need to work together to resolve any issues posed by opposing chambers. Important add-ons to this bill are amendments that prevent the Indiana Lottery from using online platforms and set sunset provisions for the Food & Beverage Tax (with an explicit exception for Monroe County and other areas).
SB 361: In an attempt to revitalize the state’s economy, SB 361 gives increased authority to the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) to establish Innovation Development Districts (IDD) and distribute $300M in tax credits with an additional $300M appropriated for a special fund to be used for innovation. Upon receiving this bill from the Senate, House Representatives made changes to how money raised from taxes in these districts is reinvested back to local communities as opposed to a state-wide fund. Included in this bill is another provision that is the least talked about, but perhaps the most exciting. As a way to attract film production in the Hoosier state, tax incentives will be offered to companies in the film industry for shooting in Indiana.
To follow any last-minute changes, head over to the Indiana General Assemby's website here.
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