INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — New numbers released Tuesday show Indiana has nearly $2 billion in the bank, and some Hoosiers are questioning why it’s not being spent.
The numbers were part of State Auditor Tera Kultz’ report. It shows not only how much is in the bank, but that Indiana ended the 2017 fiscal year with a $42 million surplus.
“It’s important to know the place where you choose to live, work, invest and possibly raise a family is financially stable,” Klutz said.
The savings come at a time when Hoosiers are paying more to fix roads and bridges. On July 1, the price at the pump climbed 10 cents a gallon.
“It’s hurting my parents,” Indianapolis resident Dominique Varbour said. “It’s hurting me. It’s putting a strain on me right now because I have to use the bus.”
“I stopped driving my car, period,” Indianapolis resident Chelsea Dinkins said. “I don’t drive my car anymore.”
Lawmakers said the gas spike will fix roads and bridges for 20 years. But some wish the state’s banked money would go toward projects.
“Two billion,” Varbour said. “Two billion. $2 billion, man. That’s crazy.”
“Almost 2 billion for a rainy day,” Dinkins said. “For what? Like seriously, for what?”
New numbers show the state did use $100 million of its reserves to fix roads and bridges last year. But dipping further they say could be problematic.
“If the stock market would crash and our economy would turn, that we would be able to provide those Hoosiers that live here the necessary services and we won’t be reactive,” Klutz said.
A proactive approach leaders say they need to have because they know next year’s announcement could be different. “We have good reason to have some confidence in our forecast, obviously, but there’s always a lot of reason to be cautious,” Office of Management Budget Director Micah Vincent said.
Gov. Eric Holcomb wasn’t at the announcement; however, he sent the Indiana Statehouse Bureau a statement.
“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.”