December tax revenues top target

Indiana took in $22 million more in tax dollars in December than a revenue forecast updated just three weeks ago had projected, according to the latest data released Monday by the State Budget Agency.

Over the month, the state topped the forecast by 1.9 percent, and topped the previous December’s tax collections by 2.1 percent. A good deal of the growth came through sales taxes, which beat the previous year by $20 million.

“Through the first six months of FY 2013, state general fund revenues have increased 3.1 percent, more than double the rate needed to meet the most recent forecast (1.5 percent). Total general fund revenues are now $70 million ahead of the Dec. 17, 2012 forecast,” writes outgoing State Budget Director Adam Horst in his commentary that accompanied the revenue report.

Buck’s tax bill similar to Pence’s plan

State Sen. Jim Buck, R-Kokomo, has filed a bill that would step Indiana’s individual income tax down from 3.4 percent to 3 percent. The tax cut would be phased in over a four-year period, with the rate being lowered by 0.1 percent each year, starting in fiscal year 2014.

It’ll be Senate Bill 192. The bill would cost the state about $644 million in 2018, once it’s fully implemented, according to this analysis by the non-partisan Legislative Service Agency.

Buck’s proposal isn’t identical to a campaign proposal by Republican Gov.-elect Mike Pence, but it’s similar. Pence wants to cut the state’s individual income tax rate from 3.4 percent to 3.06 percent, and he wants to do it over two years.