Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

State News

April 17, 2013

Latest state budget forecast may mean tax cuts

INDIANAPOLIS —  Indiana Gov. Mike Pence is touting the latest state budget forecast as good news for his tax relief plan, but Republican legislators who control the purse strings aren’t ready to sign off on it yet.

House and Senate fiscal leaders said Tuesday that the April budget forecast they’ve been waiting on to finalize their two-year spending plan clears the way for about $500 million in tax cuts.

But they also said it’s unlikely that all of that will come through the permanent 10 percent cut in the income tax rate that Pence wants.

The April forecast estimates the state will bring in about $290 million more in revenue than what the December forecast -- used to start the budget process – predicted. In a statement, Pence called the forecast “great news for Hoosiers” and a boost for his tax cut plan that GOP legislators have been so reluctant to embrace.

Pence’s office leaked the forecast numbers to some media outlets before they were released to the State Budget Committee and in doing, captured the early, online news headlines.

But what Pence called evidence of “greater economic growth” was characterized with much more caution by GOP fiscal leaders  in the General Assembly after they’d seen the full forecast.

They pointed out the forecast predicts a significant drop in revenues from both sales taxes and gaming taxes – two significant sources of money for the state budget. And they cited an economic forecast, delivered with the budget forecast, that predicted Indiana wouldn’t see its jobless rate drop below 8 percent until next year, at the earliest.

“It shows there is a little sunshine in the valley and that’s a good sign,” said Senate Appropriations Chairman Luke Kenley of the forecast report. “I hope it’s true. It’s certainly not a robust forecast.”

Senate Tax and Policy Committee Chairman Brandt Hershman called the report “good news, served with a side of caution.”

But like Kenley, he expressed caution. “It’s always better to have a debate over money you have rather than over money you don’t have,” Hershman said. “But we need to make sure it’s going to be money that we’re going to have.”

Both Kenley and House Ways and Means Chairman Tim Brown said the forecast means the budget bill that’s still being negotiated will likely contain a mix of tax cuts already proposed by the House and Senate.

That includes cuts to the inheritance, corporate and financial institutions taxes and a much smaller income tax cut than what Pence wants.

They believe the new forecast means they can build in about $500 million in tax cuts and still increase spending for road repair and schools.

The House approved budget calls for $500 million in new road spending, and restores about $331 million in education cuts. The Senate version of the budget calls for $400 million in more road money, plus additional education money the House approved.

The governor’s budget director, Chris Atkins, told the Associated Press that new revenue projections mean there’s enough money for both the increased road and school funding and for Pence’s 10 percent tax cut.

The Pence tax cut idea has never found a warm reception in the General Assembly. Republicans leaders have been openly skeptical and some Democrats have been scornful.

On Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Tim Lanane of Anderson repeated his doubts about the wisdom of a tax cut that will take about $500 million a year from state revenues but put only about $120 a year back into the pockets of an average Hoosier.  

He said the money would be better spent on roads, schools and workforce development.

“Today’s revenue forecast is encouraging, but it’s also a reminder that people expect lawmakers to focus on what’s in the long-term interest of all Hoosiers, and to be extremely cautious in protecting Indiana’s hard-earned fiscal integrity,” Lanane said in a statement. “We can do better. We can send a clear message that improving the livelihoods of all Hoosiers is job one.”

Maureen Hayden covers the Statehouse for the CNHI newspapers in Indiana. She can be reached at maureen.hayden@indianamediagroup.com

 

1
Text Only
State News
  • Each day of Public Health Week has a focus

    April 7 kicks off the 19th annual observance of National Public Health Week in America.

    April 7, 2014

  • Trash Bash poised to start Mother Nature has been relentless this winter and snow is finally beginning to melt. That means it's time to begin spring cleaning of Hoosier highways and byways. The Indiana Department of Transportation's annual Trash Bash is slated from April 5-27

    April 1, 2014

  • Home renters need to avoid scams A rental scam utilizing Craigslist has reared its ugly head once again in central Indiana and Indiana State Police warn citizens to be mindful of their dealings. On Feb. 21, a Plainfield resident answered a Craigslist posting for a rental home in Nob

    March 25, 2014

  • Changed wording delays debate on right to hunt, fish INDIANAPOLIS - A much-debated ban on same-sex marriage wasn't the only proposed constitutional amendment to get knocked off this November's ballot. Gone, too, is the less contentious proposal to protect Hoosiers' right to hunt and fish. Backers of th

    March 18, 2014

  • nws - bv031814 - Loughmiller Bar Owner Old ban on beer booze level may be tapped out INDIANAPOLIS - Loughmiller's Pub across from the Statehouse is a favorite hangout for legislators and lobbyists who like the tavern's menu of gourmet burgers and craft beers. State police are regular lunch customers, as are state officials who regula

    March 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • nws - bv030714 - arts advocacy day Kuehl will advocate for the arts in D.C. Jeff Kuehl, Columbus Area Arts Council regional services director, has been selected to serve as Indiana state captain at National Arts Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C., said Arthur Smith, CAAC marketing and media director. Kuehl will lead a delegati

    March 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • Closing in on a way to help schools INDIANAPOLIS -- Legislators are closing in on a way to help some school districts that stand to lose millions of dollars in transportation funds. A proposal in a school debt service bill essentially stalls for three years a law that requires schools

    March 7, 2014

  • Frye honored for natural gas efforts State Rep. Randy Frye (R-Greensburg) was honored with a stakeholder award for outstanding leadership in the advancement of natural gas fueling infrastructure at the 11th annual Legislative Luncheon and American Fuels and Technologies Expo Feb. 4 at t

    March 4, 2014

  • Daniels making the transition WEST LAFAYETTE -- Mitch Daniels still occasionally gets called "governor" in deference to the eight years he spent as Indiana's chief executive. Thirteen months after leaving office, the old title is the exception to his honorific as Purdue Universit

    February 28, 2014

  • Business leaders see early education as economic investment INDIANAPOLIS - The state won't pay to send poor children to preschool anytime soon but business leaders and key Republicans say they plan to keep pushing for the program. An effort backed by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce and United Way has been lo

    February 28, 2014

Featured Ads
AP Video
Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge US Supports Ukraine's Efforts to Calm Tensions Suspect in Kansas Shootings Faces Murder Charges Ukraine: Military Recaptures Eastern Airport Raw: Storm Topples RVs Near Miss. Gulf Coast NASA Showcases Lunar Eclipse Pistorius Cries During Final Cross-Examination The Boston Marathon Bombing: One Year Later Michael Phelps Set to Come Out of Retirement First Women Move to Army Platoon Artillery Jobs Sex Offenders Charged in Serial Killings Police: Woman Stored Dead Babies in Garage OC Serial Murder Suspects May Have More Victims Family: 2 Shot in Head at Kan. Jewish Center Raw: Horse Jumping Inspires 'Bunny Hop' After Attack, Officials Kill 5 Bears in Florida Popular Science Honors Year's Top Inventions ND Oil Boom Attracting Drug Traffickers
Seasonal Content
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Facebook