British Columbia closed the last fiscal year with a budget surplus more than seven times higher than original estimates.

The books closed on the 2007-2008 fiscal year showing a surplus of $2.9 billion, as opposed to the conservative $400 million estimated when the budget was delivered last year.

Finance Minister Colin Hansen says the audited financial statements for last year show the surplus is mostly due to higher tax revenues and better than expected earnings by the province's Crown corporations.

The $2.9 billion surplus is the fourth year in a row the province's books have been in the black.

Hansen's ministry also noted that the auditor general recently expressed concerns about how certain budget items were reported and recommended changes.

But the government said in a news release it would not implement the changes after consulting with government experts, other jurisdictions in Canada and an independent accounting policy advisory committee.