(Indianapolis, Ind.) - Indiana Democrats are calling for an investigation after $300 million was discovered untouched in the state’s coffers.
Governor Mitch Daniels said Tuesday the millions were found after an auditor for the Indiana Department of Revenue discovered corporate taxes paid by electronic check were sitting in an account.
Because of a computer programming error dating back to 2007, the money paid by corporations using an electronic filing system has not been attributed to the state’s general fund.
A state employee tracking a $25,000 tax check through the system discovered the error in late November.
The state is looking into how the error was able to occur.
Furious with the news, Democrats want to know if the money was forgotten about because of incompetence or were Hoosiers intentionally misled.
The budget was based on the numbers reported by the Budget Agency. Was the Budget Agency asleep at the wheel? How can we trust checking account balances in the future? The citizens of the state deserve answers,” Senate Minority Leader Vi Simpson (D-Bloomington) said in a statement.
Simpson also said the money could have been used to sustain funding for public education, which saw $300 million in cuts in Indiana’s last budget.
“This wasn’t just an accounting error. Children got hurt by this, families have suffered. And it all could have been avoided,” said Simpson.
Daniels, who said he learned of the discovery Tuesday, said he would like to see the money go to building a surplus and triggering an automatic taxpayer refund.
A recently enacted state law orders that any surplus more than 10 percent of the current year’s budget will be split between the taxpayer refund and paying for teacher pensions.