Chesterton Tribune

Fixing state's latest tax funds snafu will benefit local governments

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By JEFF SCHULTZ

Counties in Indiana received word from the state’s management and budget office on Thursday they will get their portion of $206 million in undistributed county income tax revenue held up by a computer programming error.

Based on a funding formula using counties’ workforce development numbers, Porter County is slated to receive $3.66 million today from the state in payments not previously distributed ($2.4 million from 2011 and $1.2 million for the first four months of 2012), said Porter County Auditor Robert Wichlinski.

An additional $2.4 million will also be distributed to the county sometime this year as a result of the state’s flub, resulting in a net total of over $6 million in County Economic Development Income Tax (CEDIT). CEDIT money is distributed monthly among the county and its municipalities. All will see some benefit from the increased amounts.

Wichlinski told the Chesterton Tribune this morning his first priority with the new money will be to provide some relief to county taxpayers through their homestead credits. He said he’s been busy making accurate calculations on the amount of relief for each of the taxing units which have seen smaller revenue amounts due to the 1-2-3 tax caps.

‘I’m going to be fair and equitable,” he said.

Half of the county’s distributed revenue will go to help pay its $3.5 million in annual dues to the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority (RDA). Whatever amount is left over after that will be available for county use, Wichlinski said.

The Indiana Office of Management and Budget released the amounts of undistributed local option income tax to be distributed to counties with local income tax options. The list is on the state board of account’s website.

Porter’s neighboring county to the east, LaPorte, will receive $2.7 million today from its two local income tax options. Lake County will not be distributed any funds since it does not have a local income tax. Marion County will receive the biggest piece of the pie, with $33 million to be distributed this month. In second is Hamilton County, with $17 million.

According to Indiana Department of Revenue, the programming error resulted in counties receiving approximately $13 million per month less than they should have since January 2011.

 

Posted 4/6/2012