Indiana lawmakers settle on a $200 taxpayer refund

INDIANA – Gov. Eric Holcomb proposed $225 payments for all Hoosiers, but the House and Senate agreed on $200 instead.

All Indiana taxpayers would be eligible for a $200 automatic taxpayer refund under legislation moving its way through the Statehouse. The direct payments from the state’s surplus were the centerpiece of the governor’s inflation relief plan.

The House and Senate, which both proposed divergent relief plans, made a deal with the refunds hanging in the balance.

Lawmakers also agreed to move $1 billion toward the state teacher pension fund.

The amended Senate Bill 2 took a whirlwind course through the Statehouse this week. The payments were originally part of a proposal that originated in the House and passed with overwhelming support as House Bill 1001.

But a House committee added the HB 1001 language to Senate Bill 2 this week, stripping it of its original language that would’ve established a support fund called the Hoosier Families First Fund.

A Senate committee then stripped HB 1001 of its original language, replacing it with Senate Bill 2 (which included the family fund) and Senate Bill 3, the Senate’s version of an inflation relief plan that included a utility tax holiday and a cap on the gas tax.

The amendment to SB2 in the House also added back language to establish the Hoosier Families First Fund and included the gas tax cap, which would stay in effect until July 1, 2023.

House lawmakers shot down an amendment that would’ve increased the refund amount to $325.

The House and Senate could vote today on the economic package. A vote on Senate Bill 1, the abortion measure, is also expected.

Governor Eric Holcomb

Holcomb released a statement on Senate Bill 2’s passage: “I am extremely pleased to see the House advance Senate Bill 2 that includes returning a billion dollars back to Hoosier taxpayers in the form of an automatic taxpayer refund. After all, this is the reason I called the General Assembly back into special session and I’m grateful they have acted swiftly and collaboratively to advance this much-needed bill to third reading in the House tomorrow. No less important is the package of robust programming to strengthen the health outcomes for Hoosier women and babies. The contents of this current bill now reflect strong contributions from all corners of the General Assembly and I look forward to signing it as soon as it arrives on my desk.”