State Auditor Tera Klutz says Indiana closed the 2021 fiscal year with $3.9 billion in reserves. As a result, the record number will trigger the state’s automatic taxpayer refund process, which will provide a total of more than $545 million in refunds to Hoosiers.
A law signed in 2012 by then-Governor Mitch Daniels sends a portion of the state’s surplus back to taxpayers if the reserves are more than 1/8th of spending, according to WIBC/Network Indiana Statehouse Bureau Chief Eric Berman. Indiana’s excess reserves for the fiscal year total just under $1.1 billion.
Under the law, half of the excess reserves are refunded to taxpayers, while the other half goes into the state’s Pension Stabilization Fund. The exact amount individual Hoosiers will receive will not be known until November, when the state has an idea of how many taxpayers there are.
State Budget Director Zac Jackson says the official revenue forecast on April 15 added $463 million to the state’s revenue projections for the fiscal year. Since that time, the state exceeded projections by an additional $1.2 billion, which Jackson calls “unprecedented.”
Governor Eric Holcomb released a statement following the release of the close-out report:
“Because of the strong position Indiana occupied going into last year’s unprecedented global pandemic and partnerships at all levels of government, we now find ourselves at a place of full employment and growing economy. State fiscal leaders deserve high praise for closely monitoring financial forecasts and then quickly adapting to the facts on Main Street, Indiana.
We quickly pivoted from managing through a once anticipated recession due to the ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic to closing the state fiscal year with $3.9 billion in combined reserves. Now, with our 19th straight balanced budget, we are working on everything from mental health programs and health care supports to record increases in K-12 tuition support. We’re investing in state public facilities and infrastructure projects statewide on a level never seen before all the while doing everything we can to create a highly skilled workforce to fill the open jobs of today and tomorrow.
Thanks to everyone’s diligent approach, including a bullish private sector, Indiana is positioned to begin the 2022 state fiscal year in a strong financial position that will benefit Hoosiers for years to come.”