Alaska is first in nation for financial health of state budget, says Truth in Accounting report for 2023

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Alaska’s state budget condition was the strongest in the nation in 2022, with a surplus of $20.9 billion, according to the state’s latest audited financial report for fiscal year 2022.

The findings come from Truth in Accounting, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing citizens with clear, reliable, and transparent government financial information. The organization assigned Alaska an “A” grade for its financial performance.

The solid financial footing can be attributed to a combination of factors. Federal funding aimed at Covid-19 relief played a role, alongside an increase in economic activity linked to a growth in tourism.

  • Alaska had $37.1 billion available to pay $16.3 billion worth of bills, giving it a nearly $21billion surplus, coming out to $80,000 per taxpayer.

In comparison, California’s budget health received a D from Truth in Accounting. The Democrat-dominated state requires more than $18,000 from every taxpayer to pay its bills. Connecticut received an F, needing $50,700 from each of its taxpayers to pay all of its outstanding bills. Connecticut ranked #49, just behind the worst state — New Jersey, coming in at #50; New Jersey would need $53,600 from each of its taxpayers to pay all of its outstanding bills.

According to the organization, at the end of fiscal year 2022, 28 states did not have enough money to pay all of their bills. In total, debt among the states was $938.6 billion, down from $1.2 trillion at the end of fiscal year 2021.

State debt decreased mostly due to tax revenue increases due to the Covid lockdowns ending, and millions, if not billions, of dollars in federal Covid funds received by the states. That money added to the national debt, however, which is now over $33 trillion.

Every state except Vermont has a balanced budget requirement. This means that to balance the budget—as the law requires in 49 states—states should not carry any debt.

“However, we found that most states could not pay all of their bills. When states do not have enough money to pay their bills, TIA takes the money needed to pay bills and divides it by the estimated number of state taxpayers. The resulting number is a Taxpayer Burden™. Conversely, a Taxpayer Surplus™ is the amount of money left over after all of a state’s bills are paid, divided by the estimated number of taxpayers in the state,” said Truth in Accounting’s summary of the report.

The entire report can be found at this link.

34 COMMENTS

  1. Just like the feds… We must bank our surplus before the feds and the libtards take it. BTW Bert Stedman, I want my full statutory PFD.

  2. Sadly stories like this will just make them want to dig a hole even deeper for our children to pay.
    You can bet that right now they are backslapping and planning their next big PORK projects.

  3. Yet the greedy legislature continues to steal Alaskan’s Permanent Fund Dividend from the citizens! They ignore the law at will, and do as they darn well please! We need a thorough cleansing of our government, replacing 50% of our representation would be a good start!

  4. Where is my PFD AND all the back pay they withheld starting with Bill Walker??
    $25,000/individual should cover it nicely and the state will have money left over to replace the $3 billion loss in the Permanent Fund corpus, replenish the constitutional budget reserve and pay a full PFD next year. If we then curtail the education budget (vouchers would be a great start) and Medicaid and focus instead on infrastructure and natural resource development, the state would be in a great place.

    • The permanent fund is mostly invested with the banks that won’t loan money for NorthSlope oil production/development . They’ve made public statement to this effect . Carlisle group ( Alice Rogoffs husband ) vanguard , WellsFargo and not to forget BlackRock . Will you Permanent investment managers tell the people of Alaska why this is? 500,000 barrels of oil per day (of discovered oil reserves ) sit in the ground . This would double the amount each year off of the oil production . Hence double the permanent fund checks to everyone .

      Everyone is all wound up about Willow Project ? Most all of the production comes out of the Federal lands . Very little of the revenue comes into the states coffers .

  5. These comments show the true character of the mrak loyalists. Gimme, gimme, gimmee. Their only concern apparently is a larger dividend.
    Not one mention that these funds could be used for education, road maintenance,marine highway, homeless, public safety,curbing domestic violence etc.
    Sometimes I am ashamed to be an Alaskan.

    • Gimme gimme gimme. Take all the money and gimme gimme gimme to feel good programs (run by public unions).
      Not necessarily in favor of larger dividends, but the Permanent Fund is the money of the people, and not permanent as the resources deplete. Still, no one can better decide how to spend their own money than the people themselves.
      “A managed democracy is a wonderful thing… for the managers… and its greatest strength is a ‘free press’ when ‘free’ is defined as ‘responsible’ and the managers define what is ‘irresponsible’.”

    • I’m ashamed you’re an Alaskan, too.
      Feel free to move to California or Oregon when your values are endorsed.

      You are unable to comprehend the difference between earned royalties and government handouts.

      The state could do what you want by downsizing it’s grotesque bloat and still meet it’s legal obligation to its citizens.

      We’re also concerned about rising crime, a useless governor, a failed pubic education system (you a grad?), insane inflation, and do on.

    • Your comment is a true representation of your ignorance of how the PFD actually works.
      First of all this is the individual Alaskan’s investment and remuneration for their piece of the resources we own collectively and the state gets a share as established in law each year already and should not be entitled to the people’s share as well. Since the state already gets a considerable share of the PFD, legislators should be capable of making a budget that works within those numbers to accomplish the tasks that are actually the responsibility of the state.

      Frankly I would vote to distribute the corpus (50% of the fund equal share to each Alaskan and the other 50% to the state) and be done with it. It needs to come with the proviso that there will be no individual state taxes ever and all subsurface rights return to the property owners. The state then keeps the royalties and taxes to invest to maintain their share and run the state.

      How many millions dollars has the state spent on education?
      We have one of the highest per student expenditures in the country, yet hover near dead last in academic achievement every time we look. I do not want more of the same, as in feeding the bloated bureaucracies to perform the latest social experiment on our kids. At least with a real PFD parents have a choice to send their kids to a better school.

      Most of the time I am ashamed of the greed and grift coming from our elected officials and their unelected intrenched bureaucracies or special interest, who are only interested in serving themselves not the average Alaskan they pretend to represent.

    • I’d never be shamed of being an Alaskan . We spend billions on school funding . I think it’s over $18,000 per student not include all the grant money . Homeless , the city of Anchorage gets millions for the problem and it gets worse . Maybe start enforcing ordinances . Not much has changed , just more homeless . Maybe they should look to Palmer and Wasilla , doesn’t seem to be much homeless up there .

    • Spoken like a true California/Oregon/Washington liberal, many of us are also ashamed that you’re an Alaskan too.

  6. It must be majorly skewed somehow. Car insurance, transportation costs, unemployment rates, food instability in rural Alaska NOT considered.

  7. New AK license plate idea:
    North to the Land of Fiscal Responsibility – Keep Your Hands Off My Hard-Earned Dividend

  8. Pay for the services that you get, ensure that you see positive results before committing more money to any program including education, and give the people their due. For those who don’t want to pay for fishing or hunting licenses, then don’t expect any services in those areas, like resource management. Licenses pay for maintenance. As for those who want more money to be thrown at education, look at national data that suggests that innovative teaching and programs work better than piles of money. For those who still wish to throw more money at all of it – please move to California; they need more people to share the heavy tax burden there.

    • Shelia
      We are paying for these services as the state has taxed our PFD and is stealing from us. You need to give the state permission to access your bank accounts so they can take from you.

  9. This report came out of the “crooked” Dunleavy Administration. Don’t believe everything you read and what they want you to believe. Good riddance to Dunleavy and his appointed cronies. They have done more damage than meets the eye. With Stedman’s help, the PFD is in jeopardy and with Adam Crumb, another Dunleavy lying crony, your PFD will continue to be minimized and possibly depleted due to his “big Plan” to put Stedman’s ego phrase into reality without the consent of the public or the knowledge of the public. As Stedman stated before Adam Crumb was put in as Finance Commissioner, Stedman wanted the “PFD and investments to become the largest global investment fund in the world.” Since that statement, Dunleavy forgot what he promised to the public if he was elected in the first round. Now Adam Crumb has taken it to another level to remove the PFD from its main purpose under the state law and invest it all with a borrowed 4 billion to get it to the 100 billion mark. Legislative oversight is needed but will the people of the state get their protection of the permanent dividend fund? Dunleavy bought votes for what he wants with the surprised salary increases for the legislative body, government purchased building for their residency with all the perks. With all that candy, will the legislative body work for the “people”? I really doubt it. Dunleavy has failed every area he promised and another project abandoned was the 4 year effort to consolidate statewide procurement. Now, with that one, we could easily see what the problem is but its better the public does not know. Right? We are now in the the three year phase of the stripped down PFD to the residents of Alaska as planned by Stedman to Dunleavy. That was before the election and the public did not know it would be phased for five years. The big disbursement before the election and the phased disbursements after the election. Wow! What a Ponsie Scheme!! And, Transportation? Dunleavy failed that one too, bigtime. Hang on to your wallets and all you have, the Dunleavy administration is not done yet!!!! Ranked Choice Voting keeps these creeps in office. Time to get it voted out and don’t look back!!

    • 100% add to that his appointed globalist faction on the PFD, board of trustees who is now a co-chair and we have an absolute recipe for disaster. You think the state are the only ones eyeing the PFD? Daddy Carlyle and other government embedded private equity companies can really use some investment funds to expedite the grift of the IRA and IIJA.

  10. Paying out the full dividend is crucial for Alaska’s private sector economy. The state competes directly with the private sector, and ensuring the full dividend is paid is essential. Most of the money stays local, driving and growing the private sector. The private economy has faced challenges, especially since Walker created an opportunity for its theft and mismanagement. Adding the layer of COVID-19 has further impacted Alaska’s current economic state.

    Instead of the state honoring its obligation to citizens for their mineral rights, the real value has been in manipulation of the citizen and political turmoil with the dividend at the center. It has become an opportunity for representatives to work against the very people who elected them, at the expense of the citizens. It’s high time citizens reclaim control, preventing the state from protecting itself against the citizens and refocusing it as a tool to serve them.

  11. Hey, if we had a lawful government we could do a “Action on Bond” Claim As39.15.030 but our Governor has violated his oath under Art. III Section 16.
    Governor’s Authority
    The governor shall be responsible for the faithful execution of the laws.
    No Bonds no Claim!

    • Governor Dunleavy is responsible for the faithful execution of AS 39.05.050. Did AG Taylor do his job? Governor Dunleavy is the Executive Branch. What did each executive officer do? Where does accountability and transparency exist?
      AS 39.05.050. Surety bonds.
      Qualifications, Appointment, and Tenure
      The principal executive officer of each department and subordinate officials shall furnish corporate surety bonds in the instance and amount required by law or determined by the governor upon recommendation of the commissioner of administration. The state shall pay the cost of the bond. The attorney general shall approve the form of the bond.

  12. Bonds – form, amount and conditions were addressed when Alaska was a Territory. Old information but still right on!

    Does Governor Dunleavy have the record?
    Civil Procedures Rule 80 – Bonds and Undertakings. Rule 80 (b) Qualifications of Sureties.
    Rule 80 (b)(1) Individuals. Rule 80 (b) Corporations.
    AS 44.85.020 “…The authority is a public corporation of the state…The exercise by the authority of the powers conferred by this chapter is considered an essential governmental function of the state.”
    AS 44.85.030 “…and shall comply with the requirements of AS 39.50…Each director before entering upon the duties of office shall take and subscribe to an oath to perform the duties faithfully, impartially, and justly to the best of the director’s ability. A record of the oath shall be filed in the office of the governor.
    AS 44.85.050 Bonding of members.
    AS 44.85.060 Compensation and expenses.
    AS 44.85.070 Staff. Also read AS 39.25 and AS 39.20.110

  13. This was such a better state before we started having steak at the picnic. Now we have an over abundance of carpetbaggers wanting public office in order to help spend our wealth. I will be glad when the pond runs dry from overspending.

  14. Hello Everyone! My name is Judi and I work with Truth in Accounting….so be nice to me 😉 I’m actually very impressed with how involved and passionate all of you are in this arena. From the outside looking in Alaska is an enviable place to live. Especially being from the state of Illinois which is always in the bottom of this research project of ours. You do point out a valuable lesson for us, a state is more than it’s numbers and every state has its unique character. The goal of our research is to put the financial reports through a more thorough accounting standard called full accrual to show the true value of your government resources. It’s unfortunate about the oil payouts being shorted because it raises questions about trust in government. And you all have shown us a unique characteristic about your state. Maybe it would be better if we didn’t rank the states, please let me know what you think. Maybe we should just present the numbers and say, “here are your state’s numbers, take them the policy makers.” Again, from the outside looking in you all should be proud to live in such a great state! Thank you for being involved in the process, it’s your government!

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