State budget panel chairman optimistic despite projected $129M drop in tax revenue for 2015



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INDIANAPOLIS — The chairman of the State Budget Committee says the state's revenue forecast for the next two years is "moderately positive" despite predictions that Indiana will have $129 million less to work with in 2015.

Republican Sen. Luke Kenley says he is cautiously optimistic after receiving a report Thursday that projected revenue growth of 2.4 percent in fiscal 2016 and 3.2 percent the following year.

The forecast calls for sales tax revenues to increase by $13.8 million for the current year, or 4.8 percent, then grow 4.1 percent and 4.7 percent the next two years. The forecast also projects gaming revenue will drop below 2003 levels.

Gov. Mike Pence says the numbers are encouraging but that his administration will use caution as it finalizes its budget recommendations.

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