Indianapolis (July 17, 2008) - State Auditor Tim
Berry today announced that Indiana achieved the third balanced
budget in a row, without a state tax increase. Auditor Berry closed
the books for the fiscal year ending June 30 with revenue exceeding
expenditures by $321.4 million.
State agencies exercised spending restraint and prudent fiscal
management and reduced the rate of expenditure growth from 4.8%
as passed by the General Assembly to 3.9%. Since 2005 Governor
Daniels has limited annual spending growth to 2.8%, less than
half the rate of growth in the prior eight years of 5.9%. This
also compares favorably to the national average rate of growth
for all states in 2008 at 5.1%.
"Balanced budgets do not occur by accident. Governor Daniels
has implemented measures to control spending that have achieved
sound results," said Auditor Berry.
The General Fund/Property Tax Replacement Fund (GF/PTRF) combined
balance is now more than $1.4 billion, still within the adequate
reserve range of 10%-12%. As part of Governor Daniels property
tax relief plan, Indiana will be absorbing in excess of $1 billion
in vital services for school operations, county welfare and
police and fire pension obligations from local government during
the current fiscal year. These reserves are vital in providing
the commitment to adequately funding these services.
"Twenty-nine states, including all of our surrounding
neighbors, are experiencing fiscal difficulties while Indiana
continues to have prudent reserves," stated Berry. "Other
states are looking at raising taxes or drastically cutting vital
services, but Indiana has balanced the budget through sound
fiscal management and constrained spending without a tax increase."
Strong financial health has enabled Indiana to:
Fiscal Year End Close Details
- Accelerate the repayment of payment delays to local
units of government (accelerated from FY 2009 to May 2008),
totaling $212 million.
- Advance the distribution of $620 million of 2008 homestead
credits to Indiana counties, in most cases months ahead of schedule.
These funds are a vital source of revenue for local units to
provide services and reduce local borrowing, especially for
counties with added burdens caused by severe storms this year.