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Legislators mull reduced tax revenue forecast

State of Indiana

Indiana’s sales tax revenues have under-performed this fiscal year, and a new revenue forecast predicts the state won’t collect as much as previously predicted. 

That has Republican legislative leaders looking at the causes and effects.

Sales tax collections are down more than 3 percent from expected levels through nearly half of the fiscal year. 

And a new revenue forecast predicts the state will collect more than $300 million less in sales tax over the next two years than previously expected.

House Ways and Means Chairman Tim Brown says what concerns him about that depressed outlook is Indiana’s aging population.

“You spend more on services,” he says. “You don’t buy dishwashers. You may not remodel your house as often as you get older.”

Senate Appropriations Chair Luke Kenley says he’s worried about the amount of internet sales tax Indiana loses out on, a figure he estimates could be in the hundreds of millions of dollars:

“It’s clearly putting our bricks-and-mortar retailers at a bigger and bigger disadvantage, which is a very unfortunate situation,” he says.

Kenley says a solution must largely come from the federal government, and he says that’s likely at least two years away.

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.