NATIONAL REPORT: INDIANA AMONG STATES EXPECTED TO SEE ECONOMIC GROWTH
State Still Has Long Way To Go To Reach
by State Sen. David Long (R-Fort Wayne)
Indiana is among states expected to see revenues grow during the current fiscal year, according to a new survey by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). The survey results are welcomed news, but the lingering effects of the national recession on state revenues will still present substantial challenges as lawmakers go about crafting a balanced budget next year.
Forty states expect tax revenues to increase during the current fiscal year, legislative fiscal directors forecast in the NCSL report. In Indiana, budget officials predict 6.3 percent total revenue growth over last year. Unlike some states, Indiana is expected to achieve its revenue forecast without implementing any general tax increases.
As any Hoosier still feeling the impact of the national recession can tell you, we aren’t out of the woods yet. But it’s encouraging to be among the states predicted to continue improving in the coming months. In order to position Indiana for the strongest economic growth possible, lawmakers must maintain their commitment to protecting taxpayers and controlling spending in the upcoming legislative session.
State budget officials released the September revenue report this week. Total revenues for the month were up 5.8 percent over the same period last year, but fell $29 million below the most recent revenue forecast. Revenues have improved over the previous year each month of the current fiscal year, which began July 1.
More specifically, Indiana’s sales tax and individual income tax revenues in September were up 5.8 percent and 3.7 percent respectively over the same period last year.
While the improvement over last year is good news, Indiana, like almost every state, has a long way to go before revenues return to pre-recession levels. Revenues for the current fiscal year are steadily improving over last year, but it’s important to remember that last year saw one of the worst revenue declines in state history. Indiana isn’t alone in its effort to climb out of the hole dug by the national recession. According to the NCSL survey, at least 17 states don’t expect to return to their peak revenue levels until 2013 or later.
Indiana’s ongoing revenue challenges underscore the importance of maintaining reserves in the last budget plan and supporting Gov. Mitch Daniels’ spending reductions in the months since its passage. Without these prudent fiscal decisions, Indiana would see even bigger challenges than those currently facing state leaders.
The full NCSL report can be found here: www.ncsl.org/documents/fiscal/Projected_Revenue_Growth_in_FY_2011_and_Beyond.pdf
Monthly state revenue reports for the current fiscal year can be found here:
Sen. David Long (R-Fort Wayne) is President Pro Tem of the Indiana Senate. He serves District 16, which includes portions of Fort Wayne.
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