Council members criticize hiring Indy tax lobbyist


Two Jackson County Council members criticized a recent com­missioners de­ci­s­ion to pay an Indianapolis firm $20,000 to seek reinstatement of a lapsed income tax.

The county instead should work directly with area members of the Indiana House of Representatives to restore the 0.1 percent to the county adjusted gross income tax rate, which now stands at 1 percent, council members Greg Prange and J.L. Brewer said Wednesday.

“In years past, we worked through our legislators to get it passed,” Prange said. “Do we not feel we have legislators we could work with? I don’t support using lobbyists in any way.”

State Rep. Jim Lucas, R-Seymour, has filed a bill for consideration during the upcoming session of the Indiana General Assembly, which convenes Jan. 7.

Council member Brian Thompson said commissioners hired Barnes & Thornburg because of what he described as time constraints on filing bills for the upcoming session.

“We had to make sure we had it done correctly,” Thompson said. “If not, we’d be out another year.”

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