Indiana Celebrates Cost of Government Day
This year, Indiana “celebrates” their Cost of Government Day on the same day as the national average- July 15, 2012. The Cost of Government Day (COGD) measures the calendar date on which the average American worker has earned enough gross income to pay off his or her share of spending and regulatory burdens on all levels of government: federal, state and local.
Hoosiers must work 197 days out of the year to pay for the cost of federal, state and local government. This year, residents in 24 states have an earlier Cost of Government Day than Indiana. Over FY2003-2012 residents of Indiana experienced a cumulative tax increase of $12.37 billion, amounting to $167.66 for every man, woman and child.
Before the passage of the biennial FY2012-2013 budget, Indiana faced a $1 billion budget gap. Governor Mitch Daniels worked with legislators to pass a $28.3 million budget, which did not increase taxes but does little to truly confront the state’s overspending problem. Programs that would experience an increase in funding are K-12 education, pensions and Medicaid.
While it is necessary for Indiana to be fiscally prudent with spending to avoid a larger deficit, the Indiana Fiscal Policy Institute predicts that adherence to the FY2012-2013 budget could produce a $600 million surplus in funds. The forecasted surplus gives hope to Hoosiers for a sooner Cost of Government Day, below the national average, next year.