Indiana GOP lawmakers settle on $200 for tax rebate payments

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — All Indiana taxpayers would be eligible for $200 rebate payments from the state’s surging budget surplus under an apparent deal reached Thursday among Republican legislators.

Those payments will be less than the $225 refunds that were originally proposed by Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb but the deal represents a concession from GOP senators who were reluctant to go along with that plan.

Republican House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Tim Brown said the package was an agreement with Senate negotiators.

The plan endorsed Thursday in a largely party-line vote by the House will dedicate about $1 billion from the state’s record $6.1 billion in cash reserves toward the rebate payments. It also will direct $1 billion toward a state teacher pension fund’s future obligations. Senate Republican leaders had made paying down that debt a priority.

Democrats voted against the plan, arguing that the pension debt was manageable and that the $1 billion could go toward more pressing needs such as education, improving public health and supporting child care programs.

Final House and Senate votes on approving the plan could occur Friday.