Indiana first-quarter tax collections exceed predicted numbers by $4.5M

Tax revenue up 2 percent over same time in 2012

INDIANAPOLIS - Indiana's tax collections have exceeded what forecasters had projected – but just barely – over the last fiscal quarter.

For the months of January through March, Indiana took in $4.5 million more than was predicted in a revenue forecast that was revised in December. Over the first nine months of the fiscal year, the state is $74.4 million ahead of that forecast.

The revenue numbers are positive news for Republican Gov. Mike Pence, who is pushing the General Assembly to enact an individual income tax cut that lawmakers have suggested would be far less likely if the state's financial shape worsened.

The state's total tax collections so far in fiscal year 2013 are 2 percent ahead of the amount Indiana took in up to this point in fiscal year 2012, said Chris Atkins, Pence's state budget director.

Indiana's revenue numbers have fluctuated wildly over the first three months of 2013 – a fact that Atkins attributed to the Internal Revenue Service slowly processing taxes that were filed in January.

In January, Indiana took in $106 million more than expected. In February, though, the state collected $21.6 million less than predicted, and in March, Indiana fell $80 million short of projections.

"We believe that approximately $68 million in refunds were processed in March instead of January and February, which caused individual income tax collections for those months to be overstated and March collections to be understated," Atkins wrote in an analysis that accompanied the March revenue report.

"After accounting for this shift, we believe individual income tax collections were $63.8 million above forecast in January and February combined (instead of the reported $131.8 million) and $15.0 million above forecast in March (compared to negative $53.0 million in this report)."

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