STATEHOUSE â€“ State Auditor Suzanne Crouch is pleased to announce that Indianaâ€™s fiscal condition following the close of Fiscal Year 2014 (FY 2014) remains strong. She released the stateâ€™s 2014 Closeout Report today, which shows that Indiana ended FY 2014 with a $2 billion reserve and a structural surplus of $106.8 million.
â€śMy job as Indianaâ€™s Chief Financial Officer is to account for and report on our stateâ€™s income and expenditures. Every day, my office contributes to Indianaâ€™s financial stability by assuring payments can and should be made. We ensure those payments are timely, transparent and accurate to confirm that every tax dollar goes to its intended purpose,â€ť said Auditor Crouch. â€śThe trust a taxpayer grants to an elected official is a sacred trust. Every tax dollar should be spent with serious consideration and respect for the individuals who earned those dollars. Each tax dollar has a name and a face attached to it.â€ť
The Closeout Report also shows that expenditures grew 2.1 percent from 2013, which is less than the 10- year average level of inflation at 2.45 percent.
â€śAt the end of the fiscal year, we do not want to have to go back to Hoosier taxpayers and raise taxes because we need more money,â€ť Auditor Crouch said. â€śBy living within our means, keeping prudent reserves and identifying areas of potential growth, we can continue to make Indiana the fiscal envy of the nation.â€ť
The FY 2014 Closeout Report is available at http://www.in.gov/sba/2362.htm.
And a comment from the othersideâ€¦â€¦
Senate Democratic Leader Tim Lanane (D-Anderson) issued the following statement in response to the fiscal year close-out numbers released today by the state auditorâ€™s office.
â€śToday, the administration announced the state will have a combined balance of over $2 billion for this fiscal year, with a little higher surplus estimated for FY 2015. In order to help reach this magical two billion dollar number, the governor continues to order cuts from already lean state programs without regard for how they will impact citizens.
â€śLetâ€™s not confuse the state of Indianaâ€™s books with the state of the average Hoosier. Itâ€™s become abundantly clear that the stateâ€™s fiscal health has little to do with improving the well-being of the average Hoosier. Letâ€™s look at some sad realities:
â€˘ College is less affordable than ever for working families.
â€˘ Our infant mortality rate is the 2nd worst in the country, and our overall health factors are ranked 41st in the nation.
â€˘ Many of our public schools struggle to pay for basic services like transportation.
â€˘ We remain one of the few states without a fully funded pre-kindergarten program.
â€˘ The CHOICE program maintains a waiting list of over 3,000 people.
â€˘ Unlike nearly every other state in the nation, families who adopt special needs children from the state donâ€™t get help from the state for their care.
â€˘ While the Republicans continue to lower taxes for businesses, the average Hoosier workerâ€™s income goes down and their tax burden goes up.
â€śWhatâ€™s the governorâ€™s plan for the surplus? More tax breaks for businesses? Another $50 taxpayer refund? The governor has failed to provide a clear vision for how this surplus can benefit all Hoosiers.
â€śThe bottom line should be about the overall well-being of Indianaâ€™s citizens, not just money in the bank. At a time when we should be investing in Indiana to improve the abysmal state of Hoosierâ€™s incomes and health, we are hoarding hard-earned taxpayerâ€™s dollars instead of returning it to them with meaningful programs and services. It seems we have our priorities wrong.
â€śLetâ€™s not congratulate ourselves for hoarding tax dollars while so many of those taxpayers continue to struggle.â€ť
Sen. Lanane represents Indiana Senate District 25 includes the portions of Madison and Delaware counties, including the City of Muncie and portions of the City of Anderson. For more information on Sen. Lanane, his legislative agenda or other State Senate business call 1-800-382-9467 or visit www.IN.gov/S25 .