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Rep. Braun’s potential profit from rising cost of lumber a reminder that he used his position to cut taxes on his own timber investments

INDIANAPOLIS – Rep. Braun is set to rake in increased profits thanks to the rising price of lumber in Indiana, as one of the state’s largest timber land owners who introduced legislation to cut taxes on the timber industry while serving at the Statehouse.

Last week, the Indiana Builders Association (IBA) lamented the rising cost of lumber that has increased overhead for Hoosier homebuilders. IBA CEO Rick Wajda placed blame on the Trump Administration for the price increases, criticizing their “supply-side” cost increases that have made lumber more expensive.

While Hoosier businesses may struggle with the increased cost, the development is good news for Rep. Braun’s wallet. Rep. Braun is one of Indiana’s largest timber land owners, and as the Indy Star reported in April, he wrote self-dealing legislation during his time at the Statehouse to cut taxes on the timber industry. The move to increase his timber profits was seen as unethical, given his significant financial stake in the industry. Meanwhile, while lowering taxes on his own business interests, he repeatedly voted for dozens of tax increases on Hoosiers.

“While Hoosier homebuilders struggle with the rising cost of lumber, Rep. Braun is probably celebrating the increase in his own bottom line,” said Michael Feldman, spokesman for the Indiana Democratic Party. “Rising lumber prices are a reminder for Hoosiers that Rep. Braun used his position as an elected official to cut his own taxes on his timber investments, while raising them on everyone else.”

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