SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The 2022 budget year has come to a close and South Dakota is finishing big.

According to Governor Kristi Noem’s office, the state had a surplus of $115.5 million for the 2022 fiscal year with the general fund revenue finishing $72.3 million, or 3.3%, higher than estimates. When it comes to the state’s largest revenue source, sales tax, South Dakota finished the year with $36.6 million over estimates, growing 12% from the previous fiscal year.

Governor Noem touted the numbers as a sign of South Dakota’s economy being the strongest in the country.

“We live within our means and operate government conservatively. Low regulation, low tax burden and business friendly policies are still the recipe for economic success,” Noem said.

The 2022 surplus has been placed in the state’s budget reserves which now total $422.6 million, equal to 20.5% of the 2023 fiscal year general fund budget.

The 2021 fiscal year saw a large surplus as well, in part due to millions of dollars of federal coronavirus aid that was pumped into the state’s economy. Overall, South Dakota has received nearly $2 billion in federal coronavirus aid.

Last month, lawmakers were still waiting on approval from the U.S. Department of the Treasury for approval on several projects using federal COVID-19 money that had been signed into law during the 2022 legislative session.

That included $5.75 million to upgrade medical facilities at the South Dakota Women’s Prison, $8 million for renovations and expansion of the West River nursing center on the Black Hills State University Rapid City campus, $29.5 million to demolish Brisco Hall and Lincoln Hall at Northern State University and construct a new Lincoln Hall, and $69.6 million to convert the State Health Laboratory in Pierre into a new Department of Health and public health lab.

The state general fund ended the year $43.2 million less than budgeted for the 2022 fiscal year.

South Dakota has finished the fiscal year with a budget surplus every year since 2012.

Despite the surplus and revenue numbers, Noem advised caution in light of a 40-year high in inflation right now, saying it was caused by the Biden administrations spending and regulation.

“However, we are prepared to weather any economic storm thanks to our structurally balanced budget, fully funded pension, and strong reserves,” Noem said.