The claims of some elected officials and political pundits that an economic recession is underway are not borne out by Indiana's latest tax collections data.

The Indiana State Budget Agency announced Friday Indiana took in $1.48 billion from all general fund revenue sources for July.

That was $72 million (5.1%) more than anticipated by the state's revenue forecast and $147.9 million (11.1%) more than July 2021 state revenue.

Indiana's primary revenue sources, sales taxes and personal income taxes, topped the July revenue forecast by 1.6% for sales tax and 2.5% for income tax, as well as collections from the same month one year ago with 6.5% year-over-year sales tax growth and 12.1% for income tax, according to the State Budget Agency.

The July revenue total continues a better than expected streak of tax collections that helped Indiana end its 2022 budget year on June 30 with $1.2 billion, or 6.2%, more money than anticipated, and $3.1 billion, or 17.3%, more than the revenue estimate used by lawmakers in April 2021 to craft the two-year state budget.

A meaningful chunk of that extra money is headed back to Hoosiers. The General Assembly on Aug. 5 authorized the distribution of $200 payments to eligible Hoosier taxpayers to reduce the state's record $6.1 billion budget reserves by approximately $1 billion.

That money, set to be direct deposited or mailed in coming weeks, is on top of the still-going-out $125 automatic taxpayer refund payments tied to excess state reserves at the close of the 2021 state budget year.

Senate Enrolled Act 2 also directs another $1 billion be deposited in Indiana's pay-as-you-go teacher pension fund and allocates $74.2 million in new funds for programs supporting pregnant women, children and families in connection with the enactment of a near-total abortion ban in Senate Enrolled Act 1 that takes effect Sept. 15.

"Thanks to more than a decade of fiscally conservative policies in Indiana, our state is in a position where we can help our citizens in meaningful ways and continue to aggressively pay down our long-term pension liabilities. This plan embodies the good financial stewardship Hoosiers have come to expect from the Statehouse," said state Sen. Travis Holdman, R-Markle, chairman of the Senate Committee on Tax and Fiscal Policy.

Democrats said the Republican-controlled General Assembly could have done much more, much faster to help Hoosiers, such as temporarily suspending the record-high 62.4 cents per gallon in state taxes levied on every gallon of gasoline sold in Indiana.

State Sen. Michael Griffin, D-Highland, said GOP lawmakers also could have boosted state funding for Indiana families long before they banned almost all abortions.

"Hoosiers and their loved ones shouldn’t have to wait to get essential funding for their newborns and mothers. Every aspect of Senate Bill 2 rings as too little, too late: I voted yes because it was made clear this was the best offer we would get for Hoosiers this special session," Griffin said.

Planning for the new two-year state budget already is underway ahead of the 2023 General Assembly that's due in January to begin considering how to spend approximately $40 billion in taxpayer dollars.

The next major step in that process will be the mid-December release of the updated state revenue forecast.
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