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[r29] Column: Automatic Taxpayer Refund returns millions to Hoosiers
Start Date: 3/14/2013Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 3/14/2013End Time: 11:59 PM
Entry Description
Automatic Taxpayer Refund returns millions to Hoosiers

In 2011, the General Assembly wanted to keep government spending in check and ensure, once government collections were at a prudent and sustainable level, that the remainder would be returned to taxpayers. This year’s tax filing is the first time this money has been available providing some tax relief for Hoosiers in the amount of $111 for single filers and $222 for joint filers. As of last week, more than 1.5 million taxpayers had already taken advantage of Indiana’s Automatic Taxpayer Refund (ATR) credit with $171 million being returned. 

The state projects that approximately $361 million will be returned to taxpayers this tax season, a nice way to start off the spring season. Funded entirely out of excess reserves at the close of fiscal year 2012, the ATR also allocated an equal share to shoring up state pensions: Judges Pension Fund ($90.2 million); Conservation, Gaming, and Excise Officers' Pension Fund ($14.6 million); Prosecutors' Pension Fund ($17.4 million); State Police Pension Fund ($31.7 million); and Pre-1996 Teachers' Retirement Fund ($206.8 million).

Indiana is in a rare position, in comparison to many other states, where its pensions are in a strong position because of the fiscal conservatism demonstrated by the General Assembly. Many other states are struggling to make pension payments and have allowed their pensions system to sink deeper into the red i.e. our neighbor to the west, Illinois. But, in Indiana, the Hoosier way of balancing a check book and paying for what is owed is the heart and soul of our state budgets.

This year’s budget has passed the House with these same principles. It is currently being discussed and debated in the Senate, and I look forward to their constructive ideas to move Indiana forward. Having the ability to provide tax relief is something Hoosiers can be proud of in their state government as other states weigh tax increases and bigger government. Our focus will continue to be on strengthening Indiana by prioritizing private sector job growth, providing a first class education system and limiting the tax burden facing Hoosiers.

For more information on the ATR credit, please visit www.in.gov/dor/4761.htm, or if you have any questions specific to your return, please contact the Department of Revenue at (317) 232-2240 or contact them online at www.in.gov/dor/3392.htm

-30-

State Representative Kathy Richardson (R-Noblesville) 
Contact Information:
Name: Nicholas Goodwin
Phone: 3172329831
Email: ngoodwin@iga.in.gov
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