Indiana lawmakers appear to strike deal on inflation relief package
Hoosier taxpayers are set to receive $200 checks after state lawmakers appear to have reached an agreement on an inflation relief package.
The House and Gov. Eric Holcomb proposed more money. Senate Republicans didn’t want direct payments to Hoosiers at all.
The compromise, said Rep. Tim Brown, is the $200 amount.
“So, this will still be over $1 billion back to our citizens,” Brown said.
Hoosiers who filed a state tax return last year will receive direct payments.
Those who didn't file a return last year and receive Social Security benefits will get their money a different way. They have to file a state tax return next year to get the $200 via a tax credit.
READ MORE: Older Hoosiers and those with disabilities question why they're left out of inflation relief
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The Senate got some of what it wants, too. If the state collects more money than it needs by next July, $1 billion in surplus revenue would be used to pay down state pension debt.
Rep. Greg Porter (D-Indianapolis) said he can’t understand why that’s a priority.
“So, here we go again, taking another $1 billion off the table … versus addressing the state’s needs, like health disparities, low teacher pay and other issues that we have within our state,” Porter said.
The bill, SB2 (ss), now also includes a Senate provision that caps the state sales tax on gasoline to 29.5 cents per gallon until July 1, 2023. The current rate is already just below that level and wasn't going to exceed it unless gas prices spike again.
The package also includes more than $70 million to help address services and programs for pregnant Hoosiers, families and children. That includes increasing the state adoption tax credit to $2,500 per child (up from $1,000) and ensuring Hoosiers no longer have to pay sales tax on children's diapers.
Contact reporter Brandon at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.