INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Indiana’s state tax collections are expected to bounce back even stronger than expected from the pandemic recession.
A new state tax revenue forecast given Thursday to state legislators projects those collections going up by more than 4% in each of the next two years. That could mean about $2 billion more available for the new two-year state budget being finalized by legislative negotiators.
“Indiana continues to significantly outperform national economic averages, providing our state a unique opportunity to accelerate our growth by investing in our people,” Gov. Eric Holcomb said. “Our next two-year budget will place Indiana in the enviable position to make long-term, wise and historic investments in our schools and education partners, market-driven workforce development programs, law enforcement officials, local community quality of life and place programs, transformational infrastructure projects, enhanced and expanded economic development tools, pay off debt, and pay cash for once-in-a-lifetime state facilities assets.”
Republican budget writers will likely face pressure to further increase school funding. The latest budget proposal endorsed by the Senate this week would increase overall school funding by 1.2% the first year and about 3% the second year.
“Here’s a golden opportunity to significantly improve K-12 public education funding in our state,” Terry Spradlin, executive director of the Indiana School Boards Association, said. “Lawmakers have a real chance to improve the state’s standing on per-pupil funding, which in turn would allow our local schools to make major improvements in teacher compensation.”