Indiana State Auditor speaks at Republican dinner
An estimated 130 people attended Monday’s Lincoln Day Dinner at the Center Point United Methodist Church, said Pastor Bob Kumpf.
The attendance was up significantly from the 85 or so people who attended last year. Kumpf said that even with the recent flooding and snow, Monday’s weather was much better than the 2017 Lincoln Day Dinner.
The keynote speaker was Indiana State Auditor Tara Klutz, who was chosen by Gov. Eric Holcomb to take the place of State Auditor Suzanne Crouch when she became Lt. Governor.
In her speech, Klutz made the obvious joke about “a klutz” having a great deal of influence over the state’s revenue but assured the crowd she was a good choice.
Klutz is the state’s first auditor who is also a certified public accountant.
“God had a lot to do with a CPA becoming auditor,” Klutz told the crowd.
She recounted the path that took her from Allen County to the Statehouse.
In 2003, she joined the Allen County Auditor’s office and eventually became the county auditor.
“County auditor — nobody knows what they do until they get the job,” she said.
One of their responsibilities is to calculate local property tax and she was involved in the change when the state supreme court said property tax had to be calculated based on real values instead of the former calculation. That meant no property tax bills went out on time the first year and it meant that local government, dependent on property tax, quickly had to learn to make do with much less money.
Klutz got involved with the county auditors association.
When Crouch became Holcomb’s running mate, Klutz’s friends suggested she run for State Auditor, which she declined to do.
After the election, when Crouch was lieutenant governor-elect. Klutz was sought out as a potential replacement for Crouch as state auditor.
This time, she asked her 8th-grade daughter and her husband and both said she should submit her resume.
“We didn’t really hear anything for two weeks,” Klutz said.
The governor-elect’s transition team was going through resumes and one day she was invited to have lunch with Holcomb at Olive Garden.
She was impressed with him and remembers he paid for their lunch with a gift card he had received for Christmas, “I thought that was pretty cool.”
Klutz was sworn into office with Holcomb.
Klutz said that technology plays a big part in running state government and one of her goals is to coordinate that technology among the various offices.
She also praised the state’s 11.2 percent surplus, saying that is a healthy balance and not too much because no one knows when a disaster or economic downturn will make it necessary to have extra money on hand.
Klutz is running for State Auditor this year.