(Indianapolis, Ind.) - Mortgages on ten State of Indiana facilities are now paid off, reducing the state's debt by more the half.
Governor Mitch Daniels, who ceremonially burned the mortgages Wednesday, credits the state's surplus for the ability to pay off the mortgages early. The burning took place outside Government Centers North and South, two of the paid off buildings.
Since January 2005, the state has reduced its outstanding debt by more than half from $3.6 billion to $1.7 billion.
Governor Daniels said paying off the older, more expensive debt with current appropriations and surplus funds was a smart move.
“In recent years, the total debt level for all other states has increased by 35 percent, and that doesn’t count their massive unfunded pensions burden,” said Daniels. “Here in Indiana, by cutting our debt more than half, we have freed up millions of future revenue for better uses, and told the job creators of the world that here is one place of low taxes and fiscal stability.”
According to the governor’s office, Indiana’s state debt includes facilities such as buildings, prisons, hospitals and parks; state highway debt; Toll Road debt; payment delays to schools, universities and local governments; and Bureau of Motor Vehicles.