Buzz, why would Indiana want to be like Texas? While it is true that Texas has no income tax, they make up for it by levying the highest property taxes in the country.There's a number of things here:
Texas ranks # 15 in total taxes while Indiana ranks #17. However, Texas spends the least per capita on education and the most per capita on jails. They also have the most polluted air in the country,one of the highest infant mortality rates along with poor ratings for public health. This combination of pollution,high crime rate and poor educational system will hamper future economic growth.
1) Property taxes are preferable to income taxes. They are more stable, they are more of a wealth tax than an income tax (although they are highly correlated to income, too), and they are far less economically destructive than income taxes. That is why Texas is growing faster than Indiana, which relies far more on income taxes.
2) "Polluted air" can't be separated from climate. Hot, sunny climes like Texas, Arizona, and California are naturally going to have a lot more ozone than the midwest.
3) Border states like California, Arizona, and Texas naturally have a lot more illegals and legal Mexican immigrants, which will naturally drag down public health and crime metrics.
Ultimately, we need to find a public policy mix that works for Indiana. I think the "Texas Way" makes sense for the "Dirtbag Hoosiers" that we have. We have some energy resources (coal, shale gas and oil, wind, ethanol) that we need to exploit more. We need to put ourselves on a path to eliminate our income tax, including county income taxes.