Hoosier taxpayers won’t get an automatic state taxpayer refund in 2019 despite record-level budget reserves.
A change from 2013 explains why the refund wasn’t triggered.
Indiana lawmakers created an automatic taxpayer refund in 2011. Hoosiers would get the refund if state reserve dollars went above 10% of the total budget. Lawmakers made that more difficult a year later – the trigger was now $50 million above an even higher percentage, 12.5%. But taxpayers still got a refund that year of a little more than $100 per person.
In 2013, the legislature made it all but impossible to hit. The state’s tuition reserve – a sort of rainy day pot for school funding – is no longer counted when calculating the reserve level.
“And when you take that out – and then you still have to have $50 million on top of that to make that distribution – we really don’t come close to hitting that target,” says Cris Johnston, Office of Management and Budget director.
Indiana was at least $150 million away from hitting the refund trigger this year.