IN Brief

State to spend nearly $1 million on taxpayer refund mailing

By: - July 19, 2022 1:00 pm

A U.S. Postal Worker monitors packages on a conveyor belt at a processing and distribution center. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Indiana expects to spend almost $1 million to mail Hoosiers 1.7 million checks as part of the state’s ongoing automatic taxpayer refund, according to Auditor of State Tera K. Klutz’s office. The office was tasked with distributing the $125 refund triggered in 2021.

Each check is expected to cost about 10 cents to print and nearly 47 cents to post, said Chief of Staff and Deputy Auditor Staci Schneider in an email. The check printing will be around $169,830 with an additional $792,200 for postage, totaling 962,030.

The office has already sent out more than 1.5 million direct deposits, but must send 1.7 million more by mail, based on 2021 state income tax return filing information. A paper shortage has hampered the office’s mailing efforts — and led some Hoosiers to wonder where the promised funds are. The paper checks are expected to go out in August.

“We are currently anticipating a shipment in early August and three days to set up. We’re planning on printing 50,000 checks per day,” Klutz said at a fiscal close-out press conference on Friday. “We’ll print as soon as we get the paper.”

 

Gov. Eric Holcomb first announced the refund, triggered by high state reserves, last December. Reserves higher than 12.5% of the budget trigger the automatic taxpayer refund.

But Holcomb’s also got plans for a larger, $225 refund totaling $1 billion. Indiana will end its fiscal year with a staggering $6 billion surplus after collecting $1.24 billion more than forecasted in the last year, according to Klutz.

State lawmakers are expected to tackle Holcomb’s idea and consider some other taxpayer relief strategies in a special session this month.

If lawmakers approve Holcomb’s $1 billion proposal before checks get mailed, some Hoosiers could see a combined check for $350.

“We’re going to try to make the best decision possible with the least cost,” said Cris Johnston, director of the Office of Management and Budget, at the conference.

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Leslie Bonilla Muñiz
Leslie Bonilla Muñiz

Leslie covers state government for the Indiana Capital Chronicle with emphases on elections, infrastructure and transportation. She previously covered city-county government for the Indianapolis Business Journal. She has also reported on local, national and international news for the Chicago Tribune, Voice of America and more. She holds an undergraduate degree in journalism from Northwestern University.

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