Indiana Ends with $1.5 Billion Surplus – What’s Next?
Indiana Austerity Planners Rake in More Dollars to Play With
Taxpayers did a great job of paying their taxes, including corporations. However, this isn’t a “minor blip” in Indiana – it’s a pattern. The Indiana Capital Chronicles captured these quotes below from lawmakers in Indianapolis, Indiana, that I want to expand on:
The General Assembly will have another $1.5 billion (NOT A BLIP) under the latest forecast to incorporate in the two-year budget before session ends in just ten days.
“Indiana is doing great, investments are showing the fruits of our labor,” said Rep. Jeff Thompson, R-Lizton. “It gives more flexibility and we’ll find a spot to land.”
Several other states have reported far gloomier revenue forecasts for the coming years, including a $24 billion budget deficit in California and a $900 million deficit in Alaska.
First, the bulk of the updated revenue comes from “better-than-expected tax collections,” specifically individual and corporate tax returns. Hoosier lawmakers don’t give tax money to Hoosiers.
Next, comparing the Golden State to a rural community isn’t fair to CA. California produces GDP at levels many countries would love, and it always leads other states in wellness, happiness, and equality. Indiana ranks high in pollution!
Let’s get real, Mr. Thompson.
What likely will happen to the surplus?
So, what will happen to our taxes? Remember, Hoosiers pay their taxes in good faith, hoping our state lawmakers will operate as representatives of the people by taking care of common expenses and investing in education and our future. When we pay too much in taxes, there should be refunds.
When Democratic Senator DeLaney was asked where the Republicans would spend it, he said, “accounting tricks.”
“After today’s positive forecast, I expect we’ll see a renewed effort by House Republicans to enact a vast expansion of private school vouchers, accounting tricks to tuck away this surplus and limited interest in providing homeowners with meaningful property tax relief. Put plainly, there’s no long-term strategy on the part of Republican lawmakers,” DeLaney said in a statement.
Rather than pouring continued funds into economic development in a bid to compete with the “powerhouses” of Texas and New York when attracting businesses, DeLaney proposed shifting the attention to education.
“Let’s get back to doing what Indiana does best – supporting our great colleges, universities and schools. We can lower tuition, help families and limit student debt,” DeLaney said.
I’m sorry, Ed, but more toward teacher salaries may appeal to your voting bloc, but what about more money to ALL Hoosiers? Paying property taxes in Indiana feels like taxation without representation. More cash subsidies to corporations coming via “tax tricks” is my guess. Austere Indiana is very predictable.