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Government

Sales Tax Revenue Decline Worries Lawmakers

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Nic McPhee
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https://www.flickr.com/photos/nicmcphee

Indiana's sales tax revenues have under-performed this fiscal year and a new revenue forecast predicts the state won't collects as much as previously expected. 

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 collects more than $300 million less in sales tax over the next two years than previously expected. House Ways and Means Chair Tim Brown says what concerns him about that depressed outlook is Indiana's aging population.

"You spend more on services, you travel," he says, of older people's spending habits. "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.

"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.

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