The Indy Star has an article on Indy’s grim fiscal situation entitled ‘No more gimmicks’ left to try
Budget experts say Daniels and the legislature have little room to maneuver during the four-month budget session that must end by April 29. They say swift action is needed if — before the next economic slump — state officials hope to close Indiana’s nearly $600 million deficit, make up more than $700 million in delayed payments to public schools, local governments and state universities and stabilize cash reserves. “We don’t have any cushion at all,” said Larry DeBoer, a professor of agricultural economics at Purdue University and an expert on state finances who works with the nonpartisan Legislative Services Agency.
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The state only recently began to project significant revenue increases after nearly four years of growth in the national economy. Meanwhile, Indiana and other states are under economic and political pressure to boost funding for K-12 education, Medicaid and other programs.
“Business-as-usual budgeting won’t do the trick,” Purdue’s DeBoer said. “We cannot rely on revenue growth alone to get us ready for another recession.”
If Larry says it, I believe it.
Seems to me, though, that smaller tax increases and smaller cuts in services years ago could have made this whole adjustment a lot less painful. The Dems have to bear a lot of that blame since they held the Governor’s Office and the House. But, the Republicans anti-taxation jihad hasn’t helped matters. I like that it’s put some pressure against the expansion of government, but it has also made even necessary and reasonable tax increases impossible. In my mind, it’s federal taxation that’s really hurting the average citizen. State and local taxes seem relatively minor compared to what you get back.