28 States Didn’t Have Enough Money to Cover Their Bills in Fiscal 2022: Report

Bethany Blankley  |  December 24, 2023

"In fiscal 2022, 28 states didn’t have enough revenue to pay all of their bills, according to the 14th annual Financial State of the States report, published by the Chicago-based nonprofit Truth in Accounting.

The report provides a comprehensive analysis of the fiscal health of all 50 states based on the latest available data from states’ fiscal year 2022 annual comprehensive financial reports.

New Jersey ranked last for having the worst fiscal health and the greatest taxpayer burden. Not far behind was Connecticut, followed by Illinois, Massachusetts, Hawaii, Kentucky, Delaware, Louisiana, California and Vermont in the bottom ten.

By contrast, 22 states reported surpluses, the majority of which are led by Republican governors.

Alaska ranked first for having the best fiscal health and highest taxpayer surplus. North Dakota, Wyoming, Utah, Tennessee, Nebraska, Idaho, Oregon, South Dakota and Oklahoma ranked in the top ten.

Total debt obligations of all 50 states was $938.6 billion, down from $1.2 trillion at the end of fiscal year 2021, the report found. Overall, state debt appeared to have decreased primarily because “tax revenue increases due to the lockdowns ending, and millions, if not billions, of dollars in federal COVID funds received by the states.” Tourism and individual spending also increased. With increased spending, states collected more tax revenue.

Every state, except Vermont, has a balanced budget requirement, the report notes. The other 49 states have laws that require their state legislature to produce a balanced budget. TIA argues this means “states should not carry any debt. However, we found that most states could not pay all of their bills.”


Read the full article on: Pennsylvania Daily Star

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