INDIANAPOLIS – Hoosiers can expect to see another $200 in their bank account after Indiana lawmakers approved a second set of payments during the special session.
The money comes from the state’s surplus. Gov. Eric Holcomb pitched the idea of a $225 payment in June to help Hoosiers struggling with high gas prices and inflation.
Here’s what we know about the next round of payments coming from Senate Enrolled Act 2.
Why are we getting $200 instead of $225?
The Indiana House and Senate took different approaches to inflation relief. The House plan mirrored the governor’s proposal and included payments of $225 to Hoosiers.
The Senate plan, on the other hand, included a proposal to eliminate the utility sales tax for six months and cap the gas tax at 29.5 cents for a year.
During the special session, the House and Senate each stripped a bill that originated from the other chamber and replaced it with a version of their own inflation relief plan.
House and Senate negotiators then settled on $200 payments, established a family support fund and also kept the gas tax cap, among other things, in a measure called Senate Bill 2.
The smaller payments will allow the state to include more Hoosiers, such as those on Social Security or disability.
The utility sales tax moratorium was not part of the inflation relief plan that eventually passed.
Could we have gotten more?
Separate amendments in the House and Senate attempted to give Hoosiers back a little more from the surplus.
Amendment 13 proposed by Rep. Cherrish Pryor in the House would’ve increased the payment to $325. It failed in a 27-60 vote during Thursday’s session.
Sen. Tim Lanane attempted to amend the Senate’s original inflation relief measure (Senate Bill 3) to provide $400 payments to individual Hoosier taxpayers making under $40,000 a year (or $800 payments to married couples filing jointly who make under $80,000 a year).
Hoosiers making between $40,000 and $125,000 would’ve received a $225 payment (double that for married couples filing jointly) while individuals Hoosiers making over $125,000 ($250,000 for couples) wouldn’t have received any payment.
Lanane’s amendment failed in a 10-37 vote.
Will more Hoosiers be eligible?
One of the sticking points for the Automatic Taxpayer Refund that started going out in May was that Hoosiers who didn’t file tax returns were mostly left out.
Lawmakers attempted to make the next round of payments a little fairer. One idea involved having Hoosiers fill out an affidavit to apply for the payment. However, concerns about the costs and manpower associated with authenticating the information scuttled the plan.
Under the legislation that passed, Hoosiers who didn’t file a tax return no longer have to file an affidavit. They’ll instead receive the $200 tax credit by filing a 2022 tax return, according to lawmakers.
How will Hoosier tax filers get their money?
The second round of payments will work like the Automatic Taxpayer Refund. Those who filed their tax returns and provided the state with direct deposit information will get their money via the same method—a direct payment to their bank accounts.
Individual filers will get $200 while married couples filing jointly will receive $400.
Hoosiers who didn’t provide their direct deposit information while filing taxes will instead receive a check in the mail. The state plans to combine the new $200 payment with the $125 payment, meaning individual taxpayers should receive a $325 check while married couples filing jointly will get a $650 check.
The state said streamlining the payments will save on paper costs. The mailed checks, which were originally slated to go out in July, were delayed due to challenges with the paper supply, according to Gov. Holcomb.
How did the House and Senate vote?
The House approved the payments in a 93-6 vote Friday. The Senate followed with a 37-9 vote, sending the measure to the governor’s desk.
The measure also eliminates state sales tax on children’s diapers and increases the adoption tax credit.
What’s the governor saying?
Gov. Eric Holcomb signed Senate Enrolled Act 2 into law late Friday after the special session concluded. In July, he called on lawmakers to act quickly to pass the measure.
He released a statement on its passage:
“Today, I proudly signed Senate Enrolled Act 2 to return $1 billion back to Hoosier taxpayers. This fulfills what I set out to accomplish when calling the General Assembly into special session in order help Hoosiers hurting from historically high inflation. I am also especially grateful for the nearly $100 million in long overdue increased funding to support the health of our Hoosier mothers and babies. While there is still more to do, better access and awareness of all our programs will be critical to improving our infant and maternal mortality rates – a long-standing priority of my administration.
“The exemplary teamwork and seriousness of purpose put into each element of SEA 2 is a testament to the elected leaders who helped shape it. I would like to thank Senator Travis Holdman, Chairman Doc Brown, and Representative Sharon Negele and the many other members from both sides of the aisle who contributed to the strength of the final product.”
What’s the status of the original Automatic Taxpayer Refund?
Payments from the original Automatic Taxpayer Refund started hitting bank accounts in May. The state has continued to send payments since then.
The Department of Revenue said it issued the first and largest round of payments in May. The third round went out at the beginning of July.
The state doesn’t have a firm timeline on mailed checks, which were first expected to arrive in July before being pushed back to August.
The state planned to send out payments from the original taxpayer refund by Sept. 1 and said Hoosiers with questions about their money should wait until that date to ask.