Iowa ranks ninth nationally for fiscal well being in Reality in Accounting report

Iowa acquired a “B” in “monetary situation” on its report card from Reality in Accounting, a authorities watchdog, because it launched its Monetary State of the States 2021 report Tuesday.

The state ranked ninth within the nation, with a $2 billion surplus or about $2,000 per taxpayer primarily based on its unaudited preliminary monetary report for fiscal yr 2020 because it had $12.7 billion accessible to pay $10.6 billion in payments, in keeping with the report. It’s certainly one of 11 states with sufficient cash to pay its payments. The state’s general monetary situation improved almost 25% “largely as a result of COVID-related grants” of $2 billion, the report stated .

“[Federal support from COVID-19 related grants and the surplus] will assist the state to climate any future public well being or financial crises and downturns out there, which may trigger the worth of a authorities’s belongings to fluctuate,” the report stated. “The uncertainty surrounding this present disaster makes it inconceivable to find out how a lot shall be wanted to take care of authorities providers and advantages.”

States with a surplus exceeding $10,000 per taxpayer obtain an “A.”

Thirty-nine states didn’t have sufficient funding to pay their payments. Fifteen of these had a taxpayer burden of $5,000 to $20,000. These states acquired a “D” on their report card. The 2020 fiscal yr ended with $1.5 trillion in complete debt among the many 50 states.

Whereas Iowa was a frontrunner in fiscal well being, it’s the second least well timed state to launch its fiscal yr 2020 monetary report. As of Sept. 15, Iowa had not launched an audited copy of its fiscal yr 2020 report, in keeping with a Reality in Accounting information launch The Middle Sq. acquired.

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California has not launched its fiscal yr 2020 report, in keeping with the report. Illinois, the third least well timed state, launched its report 408 days after the top of the fiscal yr. North Dakota (163 days), Minnesota (168 days), Wisconsin (174 days), and Nebraska (170 days) had been inside The Authorities Finance Officers Affiliation’s customary for states, which is 180 days after the top of a fiscal yr. The nationwide common for publishing fiscal yr 2020 monetary stories was about 211 days.

“That is the tardiest that state governments have been at releasing their annual stories within the 12 years that we now have surveyed the states,” the report stated. “The COVID-19 pandemic could have contributed to the delays given that the majority state authorities workers switched to work-from-home schedules.”

The highest three indebted states had been:

• Connecticut: per taxpayer burden of $62,500

• New Jersey: per taxpayer burden of $58,300

• Illinois: per taxpayer burden of $57,000

The common taxpayer burden throughout the 50 states was $9,300 for fiscal yr 2020, $2,000 worse than the prior yr.

Probably the most fiscally wholesome states had been:

• Alaska: per taxpayer surplus of $55,100

• North Dakota: per taxpayer surplus of $39,200

• Wyoming: per taxpayer surplus of $19,500

Nationwide, most state debt stems from unfunded retirement profit guarantees, comparable to pension and retiree well being care liabilities. For 2020, pension debt totaled $926.3 billion, and different post-employment advantages (OPEB), primarily retiree well being care, totaled $638.7 billion.

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