State Auditor Tera Klutz, CPA, announced Friday that Indiana closed the 2022 fiscal year with $6.1 billion in state reserves.

“Indiana’s historic $6.1 billion reserve balance gives legislators the opportunity to review the state’s funding model as well as provide residents with the assurance that Indiana can continue to provide essential services as our country confronts an uncertain economic future,” said Auditor Tera Klutz, CPA.

The State of Indiana collected $1.24 billion more than last forecasted, which contributed to the unprecedented amount in reserves. Gov. Holcomb has called a special session to return $1 billion from the reserves to Hoosier taxpayers in addition to the automatic taxpayer refund Hoosiers started receiving due to last year’s record reserve.

“The State of Indiana remains fiscally strong and continues to prove it has a reputation for being financially disciplined, paying down both debt and pension obligations early, which keeps Indiana one of the lowest debt per capita states in the nation,” said Office of Management and Budget Director Cris Johnston. “The state has an opportunity to return tax dollars to Hoosier taxpayers, maintain adequate reserves and build a sound biennium budget plan.”

“This solidifies our reputation as being fiscally minded and assuring Indiana can meet the needs of Hoosiers while having a financial cushion to handle the unpredictability of the current economy,” said State Budget Agency Director Zac Jackson.

The 2021-2022 Fiscal Year Close-Out Statement, ending on June 30, 2022, is prepared by the State Budget Agency.

“Indiana’s economy is growing at an unprecedented rate due to the lowest unemployment rate in state history, higher-than-expected income tax revenues and growing our state’s GDP at a faster rate than the national average while meeting the essential needs of Hoosiers. I have called a special session to return $1 billion to taxpayers because it can’t wait until next year as we all face rising inflation costs. I plan to present a biennium budget that will address more support for our public health system, salary increases for state employees, additional funding in K-12 education and another round of funds dedicated to the READI program to help local communities improve their overall quality of life,’ said Governor Eric Holcomb.  “I want to thank state fiscal leaders for their continued fiscal diligence that will benefit Hoosiers for years to come.”

“From a good governance and fiscal responsibility perspective, our surplus is much too large. It’s bloated by about 20% more than it should be. It’s losing value sitting in the bank when it could be investing in Hoosiers. That said, we have a golden opportunity here to make historic investments in things like public health, education and student debt. We only spend about $17.58 per person on public health. I’d like to see that massively increased, and with an eye toward fixing equity gaps in public health outcomes, as we craft a budget this upcoming session,” said State Representative Greg Porter.   “Despite the opportunity we have, however, I harbor great fears that Republicans will forgo investments in people and instead invest in our credit rating by paying down debts the state is already working on paying. A good credit rating is worthless if our people are sick, receiving a subpar education or unable to support their families.”