Indiana closes out fiscal year with $1.8 billion in reserve

State officials say Indiana closed out the 2017 fiscal year that ended in June with about $1.8 billion in reserves and a budget surplus of $42 million.

The results marked the eighth consecutive year that the state has ended the fiscal year with an annual budget surplus. The Indiana constitution restricts the state from taking on debt.

Indiana Auditor Tera Klutz said Tuesday during a news conference at the Indiana Statehouse that the numbers demonstrate that the state is fiscally responsible.

Gov. Eric Holcomb and the GOP-controlled Legislature raised taxes on fuel this last legislative session despite the balance in reserve.

Office of Management and Budget Director Micah Vincent said that's a prudent step because it will allow the state to pay for infrastructure improvements while keeping the state ready for a possible economic downturn.

That way the state is prepared to weather a sinking economy without needing to immediately raise taxes while still providing services, Vincent said.

"As we close the books on another fiscal year, Indiana’s financial position remains strong," Holcomb said in written comments. "With more than a decade of balanced budgets and healthy reserves behind us, we must remain vigilant to maintain our position as the fiscal envy of the nation. To do that, we must continue managing our state’s finances carefully, diversify our economy and grow our workforce."

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