Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Journal-Gazette Reports State Ends Fiscal Year with $106 Million Surplus

From the Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette:

State coffers ended the year in the black thanks to agency spending cuts, Indiana budget officials reported Monday.

Fiscal year 2014 ended June 30 with an annual operating surplus of $106 million and reserves of $2 billion.

But to get there state agencies had to cut spending by about $150 million because tax revenues came in lower than expected.

In fact, fiscal year 2014 revenues were lower than the previous year, possibly due to state corporate and inheritance tax cuts lawmakers implemented.

“Due to the strong leadership of Gov. (Mike) Pence, our state’s fiscal health is strong and growing stronger,” said State Auditor Suzanne Crouch.

Pence ordered budget cuts in December, including a loss of $34 million to state colleges and universities. Other agencies also returned millions, including $27 million from the Family and Social Services Administration and $12 million from the Indiana Department of Correction.

“In order to help reach this magical two billion dollar number, the governor continues to order cuts from already lean state programs without regard for how they will impact citizens,” said Senate Democrat Leader Tim Lanane, of Anderson.

He pointed out that public schools are struggling financially, college is less affordable and Hoosiers who adopt special needs children get no state aid.

“What’s the governor’s plan for the surplus? More tax breaks for businesses? Another $50 taxpayer refund?” Lanane said. “Let’s not congratulate ourselves for hoarding tax dollars while so many of those taxpayers continue to struggle.”