State revenue beats estimate again

2011-12-06T13:45:00Z 2012-03-08T13:31:43Z State revenue beats estimate againBy Dan Carden dan.carden@nwi.com, (317) 637-9078 nwitimes.com
December 06, 2011 1:45 pm  • 

INDIANAPOLIS | State revenue last month once again topped expectations, bringing in $10 million more than predicted by budget forecasters.

Indiana's November tax revenue totaled $948 million, including $536 million in sales taxes and $317 million in income taxes.

Since July, when the state's budget year began, sales tax collections have increased 8.2 percent. November's sales tax total was $42 million higher than November 2010.

Individual income tax revenue has grown 4.3 percent during the first five months of the budget year.

Added together, Indiana's revenue is now $117 million above the April revenue forecast used to set spending for the 2012-13 state budget. That revenue forecast will be updated Dec. 14.

On Tuesday, Gov. Mitch Daniels said he expects the state's $1.2 billion surplus will be forecast to grow larger still, even after including the $320 million in misplaced business tax revenue added to the state's general fund this month.

"We believe Indiana is in even stronger fiscal shape than we'd already thought," Daniels said.

One dark spot in the state's otherwise bright revenue picture is the ongoing decline in tax revenue from bets placed at riverboat casinos.

Since July, riverboat wagering taxes have totaled $128 million. That's $19 million less than expected by the state's revenue forecast and $17.2 million less than the first five months of the 2011 budget year.

Daniels said he does not mind if gambling taxes contribute less to Indiana's bottom line than they have in the past, but he's determined to preserve the jobs and businesses associated with gaming in Indiana.

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