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Lawmakers grapple over when Hoosier taxpayers receive refund

An Indiana House committee made changes to a Senate bill Thursday dealing with the state’s automatic taxpayer refund trigger. 

The current trigger for an automatic taxpayer refund is 10% of the state budget. That currently equals about $1.4 billion.  The Senate bill raises the trigger after this year to about $2 billion, which is about 15% of the state budget.  House Ways and Means committee chair Jeff Espich (R-Uniondale) says he’s open to the concept of raising the threshold.

“The Senate seems insistent that they want a little greater reserve and it’s hard to say that’s bad policy.  Saving money for the rainy day’s always good.  So I guess I’m willing, if you will, to sort of concede that area.”

However, Espich says 15% is too high.  In his amendment, which passed a committee Thursday, the trigger is raised to 12% of the budget.  He says, no matter what, taxpayers need to have a refund this year.

“Just ten months ago we passed a bill that said half of any reserve goes to taxpayers and half goes to paying off TERF obligations.  I think we look a little bit silly if we change our minds and undo that.”

The final details will be decided in conference committee later this session.

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.