Indiana budget year ends in the black
INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana: The fiscal year is over, and the numbers are out- Indiana now sits on a $1.2 billion surplus.
The state's unexpected extra income comes from the administration's ability to make deep budget cuts, along with higher than anticipated tax revenues. The budget cuts raked in nearly $460 million more than the $597 million the state had originally aimed for last July. Tax collections also contributed to the surplus, bringing in $204 million more than it had projected, with $195 million coming from income taxes.
Despite the optimism, not everyone in Indiana views the surplus positively. House Minority Leader Pat Bauer claims that the administration's report is "gimmicky," referring to cuts that were made to health care and education. The state school system reportedly bore much of the budget cutting burden since last July, returning $325 million from the $6.9 billion that it was allotted in the previous budget.
David Patterson, spokesman for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 62, said that "demonized" state employees should receive some of the surplus, in part because they had to work harder to account for the many eliminated positions.
Hoosiers nearly made off with their own piece of the surplus, but the numbers fell just shy. The amount necessary to trigger automatic tax refunds is 10 percent or more of general spending. The $1.2 billion landed just short of that, at 9.1 percent.