State plans conference to examine tax structure

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More than 200 local and national tax professionals and policy makers will participate in the Indiana Competitiveness and Simplification Conference on June 24 at the Indiana Government Center.

Representatives from the Indiana Manufacturers Association, Eli Lilly and Co., Kimball International, and Roche Diagnostics will be participating.

“The big picture is to look at the Indiana tax structure,” said Bob Ditmer, a spokesman for the Indiana Department of Revenue.

He said the main goals of the conference – spearheaded by Gov. Mike Pence – are to find ways to make Indiana more competitive by adjusting taxes and to figure out a way to make Indiana’s tax policy simpler.

The conference will include speakers and panel members with tax and policy making backgrounds, including Arthur Laffer, an economist from The Laffer Center; Allan Hubbard, chairman of E&A Industries and former director of the National Economic Council; Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform; James Eads of Ryan and Associates and former executive director of Federation of Tax Administrators; and Mark Everson, former commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service.

“A diverse group of experts will be represented at the conference to help Indiana consider tax simplification methods from every angle,” said Pence in a press release from the Department of Revenue. “This conference is an excellent opportunity to examine our tax structures in open and frank discussions we hope will inform the 2015 General Assembly.”

Tim Rushenburg, vice president of governmental affairs and tax policy for the Indiana Manufacturers Association, will be a participant on a panel discussing sales taxes along with experts form Eli Lilly, Kimball International, and Roche Diagnostics.

“Although Indiana has a very favorable business climate, there are certain Department of Revenue regulations that need to be updated and simplified to better reflect our state’s manufacturing-intensive economy,” said Patrick Kiely, president of the Indiana Manufacturers Association, in a press release Wednesday.

Ditmer said the conference will be “wide open, no holds bar” because no one knows what to expect except big ideas.

State officials want Hoosiers to share their ideas about state taxes and suggest recommendations that could make Indiana a more business-competitive state. Anyone who would like to provide ideas and suggestions can submit comments at

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