INDIANAPOLIS — An Indiana lawmaker is calling to get more money back into taxpayers’ pockets as the state reports a historic reserve balance.

On Friday, State Auditor Tera Klutz announced that Indiana closed the 2022 fiscal year with $6.1 billion in state reserves.

“Indiana’s historic $6.1 billion reserve balance gives legislators the opportunity to review the state’s funding model as well as provide residents with the assurance that Indiana can continue to provide essential services as our country confronts an uncertain economic future,” said Auditor Tera Klutz, CPA.

As lawmakers meet for a special session, State Senator Fady Qaddoura (D-30) is calling on the leadership of the General Assembly to open the state budget process to address several priorities. One of these priorities for Senator Quaddoura is increasing relief checks from $225 to $400 for single filers who make up to $75,000 in income and $800 for joint filers who make up to $150,000 and include public sector retirees (teachers, firefighters, and police officers) and recipients of social security disability benefits.

“Indiana can’t afford reluctant leadership given the urgency of the circumstances. Hoosiers are feeling the pain of skyrocketing gas prices and property taxes; rising rents, utilities, groceries; and deteriorating local roads and infrastructure,” said Senator Quaddoura.

During the special session, lawmakers are anticipated to vote on Governor Eric Holcomb’s plan to return $1 billion from the reserves to taxpayers. This would result in $225 payments to single filers or $450 for couples who filed jointly.

Indiana’s economy is growing at an unprecedented rate due to the lowest unemployment rate in state history, higher-than-expected income tax revenues and growing our state’s GDP at a faster rate than the national average while meeting the essential needs of Hoosiers. I have called a special session to return $1 billion to taxpayers because it can’t wait until next year as we all face rising inflation costs. I plan to present a biennium budget that will address more support for our public health system, salary increases for state employees, additional funding in K-12 education and another round of funds dedicated to the READI program to help local communities improve their overall quality of life.

I want to thank state fiscal leaders for their continued fiscal diligence that will benefit Hoosiers for years to come.

Governor Eric Holcomb (R-Ind.)

During an economic town hall, Minority Leader Greg Porter said the current plan for taxpayer refunds leaves out several groups that are also struggling. He called on the legislation to cover people on Social Security and people with disabilities.

There are about 440,000 Hoosiers over the age of 65 that that needs to be able to take advantage of this program. They help build it. They help build this surplus through their taxes that they pay on goods and services. And we feel like they should be entitled.

Minority Leader Greg Porter (D-96)

State Representative Jeffery Thompson (R-28), a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, said the bill has yet to be drafted. He thinks Porter’s recommendations are being looked at as possibilities.

“I think we do need to have a discussion how that’s done to be sure we have them, all the Hoosiers receiving those dollars. I think those are topics you should address and consider.,” said Rep. Thompson.

Senate President Pro Tem Rodrick Bray (R-37) said his caucus members remain open to taking action to help Hoosiers deal with economic pressures.

“As we look toward special session, Senate Republicans are considering a package that can provide relief to Hoosiers in multiple ways while continuing to pay down our outstanding debt.”

Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray

Holcomb called the General Assembly for a special session on July 6. And while that’s the official “start date” of the session, Republican leaders don’t plan to convene until July 25.