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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Rainy days

Gov. Daniels wants to give taxpayers a break:

Gov. Mitch Daniels pitched a proposal Tuesday that would give taxpayers automatic tax credits if the state's banking account and reserves reached a level determined to be safe for weathering an economic downturn.

Daniels said he would push such a plan in the next session of the General Assembly if re-elected in November. He suggested implementing tax credits if money in the state's main checking account and reserve funds exceeded 10 percent of that year's budget.

My first reaction was that this is an election-year gimmick like Jill Long Thompson's proposal for a gas sales-tax holiday, but both are OK with me, since one will let me keep a little of my money in my own pocket, and the other would put a little back.

But then . . .

If I understand current state law (somebody help me if I'm missing something or the law has changed), the rainy day fund is capped at 7 percent of the general fund (anything over that goes to the property tax replacement fund). Are the "general fund" and "state budget" two different things, or is this a sneaky way to increase the rainy day fund by 3 percent?

Anyway, I like this proposal a lot better than the governor's idea to create a "temporary" 4.4 percent tax bracket to shore up the rainy day fund.


Harl Delos
Wed, 08/06/2008 - 1:30pm

Are the

Leo Morris
Wed, 08/06/2008 - 1:55pm

Nice catch on the 43 percent; it's the kind of slip I've pointed out in others' writing, and I go and make it myself. I guess what I was getting at is: Is the governor keeping the playing field the same or changing the rules? Are the 7 and 10 percent apples and apples or apples and oranges? There are actually five funds in the state budget -- the general fund being the monster. There are also the much smaller tuition reserve and the Medicaid reserve, and he could be also considering them in the mix. I don't THINK he can be considering the other two -- the rainy day fund and the property tax replacement fund -- since one is already triggered by state financial conditions and he's proposing that the other be.