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Taxpayer Refunds Closer, But Smaller

Last updated on Friday, February 24, 2012

(INDIANAPOLIS) - Indiana taxpayers are another step closer to getting refunds from the state’s surplus in 2012, but the refunds may be significantly less than what state leaders had originally announced.

Under a bill approved Thursday by the Senate Appropriations Committee, the state would keep a 10 percent cushion amount needed to fund the current budget.

Giving taxpayers refunds from the growing state surplus has been a popular idea since Gov. Mitch Daniels announced it in 2011.

The Legislature passed a law that allows taxpayer rebates if the state surplus exceeds a certain percentage of revenue. The $300 million discovery potentially pushes the state toward that threshold.

Sen. Luke Kenley said Hoosiers could possibly expect a refund of about $40 per taxpayer and $80 for a couple filing a joint return, RTV6's Norman Cox reported.

The House previously voted to give more money to refunds and less to retirement fund for teachers, but Kenley said he's holding out for an even split.

"I think we ought to stay even, but the House has a little different formula. They want to give more back to the taxpayer up front, but these debts are real that we have to pay. I think we ought to stick by the deal we made," Kenley said.

The committee also voted to pay an extra $1 million to State Fair victims and their families, increasing the total payout to $6 million.

"The unanswered question is that there are some people that have long-term claims that have not been included in that resolution. The House left about $900,000 to deal with that and we added another million. So, there's $1.9 million for the three people we think that have long-term issues," Kenley said.

Lawmakers said they are proposing that the remaining amount of the refund be split between the teachers' retirement fund and taxpayer refunds.

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