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Indiana $353 million ahead of budget plan less than a quarter into fiscal year

The Indiana Statehouse dome is reflected in a bank of windows in an office building across the street from the Statehouse. The reflection is dark, with the outline of the dome visible but many of its finer details more obscured.
Justin Hicks
/
IPB News
Indiana can trigger an automatic taxpayer refund law in odd-numbered years, when its two-year budget cycle ends.

Less than a quarter into the new fiscal year, Indiana has collected hundreds of millions more in taxes than expected.

Through August, Indiana collected $353 million more in revenue than the current budget needs. That’s ahead of where the state was a year ago, and it finished the last fiscal year with $3 billion more than its budget plan.

Indiana can trigger an automatic taxpayer refund law in odd-numbered years, when its two-year budget cycle ends. It did so in 2021, sending back $125 per person to anyone who filed a tax return.

But triggering that law in 2023 will be more difficult. That’s because of a change lawmakers put into recent legislation, SEA 2 (ss), during the special session. Next year, when closing the state’s financial books, the first $1 billion of excess reserves won’t be used for a taxpayer refund. Instead, it will go entirely to paying down debt in a teacher pension fund.

Any excess tax collections after that would go towards taxpayer refunds.

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Brandon Smith has covered the Statehouse for Indiana Public Broadcasting for more than a decade, spanning three governors and a dozen legislative sessions. He's also the host of Indiana Week in Review, a weekly political and policy discussion program seen and heard across the state. He previously worked at KBIA in Columbia, Missouri and WSPY in Plano, Illinois. His first job in radio was in another state capitol - Jefferson City, Missouri - as a reporter for three stations around the Show-Me State.