Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels today announced that state coffers will show a $2 billion surplus at the end of the fiscal year, kicking in a taxpayer refund of $100 for individuals and $200 for couples who qualify.
Daniels said today that since reserves total at least 14 percent of the state’s budget, most Hoosier taxpayers will receive their first automatic taxpayer refund when they file their state taxes in 2013.
His administration says the exact amount will not be ascertained until the fall when the estimate will be made of how many tax returns will qualify. Because the state’s reserves exceed 10 percent of the upcoming year’s budget, half of the excess will be returned to taxpayers and the other half will go to further strengthen several of the state’s pension funds. That means the pension funds, already rated among the nation’s most secure, will receive at least $300 million. For Fiscal Year 2013, the state is projecting a structural surplus of more than $400 million, resulting in the state’s reserves again exceeding $2 billion.
Audio from today’s news conference can be found here. Daniels declined to say whether any of the excess surplus should be used to pay for the expansion of Medicaid, which could cost Indiana up to $3 billion over the next six years. The Governor said that question is one for the future Governor and General Assembly.
And in response to complaints from schools and local governments regarding cuts, Daniels said they are free to go to the legislature and ask for those funds back next year.