Here’s a tale of two states that should make Hoosiers glad they live on the east bank of the Wabash — at least when it comes to paying for state government.
Last week in Indiana, the Daniels administration announced that the state’s budget reserves had topped $2 billion, enough to trigger $100 rebates for individual tax filers and $200 for couples who file jointly. In total, the state will give back about $300 million to taxpayers, and although the individual sums are by no means large, the refunds are enough to provide hard-pressed families with a bit more cushion for a week or two.
In Illinois, meanwhile, the fiscal picture is far less cheery.
Last year, Illinois lawmakers scrambled to close a budget shortfall estimated at $11 billion. Despite substantial tax increases and deep cuts in services, the state ended the 2012 fiscal year, which closed June 30, with a shortfall of more than $8 billion. In fact, Illinois’ auditor general recently released a report describing the state’s deficit as the nation’s worst based on the percentage of revenue.