Alaska state budget (2009-2010)

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The steep decline in oil prices, the state’s dominant source of revenue, ended Alaska's historical annual surplus, requiring dipping into the state's special reserve fund of approximately $8 billion.[1] The Alaskan oil forecast for FY 09 was 0.689 mbd at $65.70 per barrel; the FY 2010 forecast was 0.655 mbd at $58.29 per barrel.[2]

Alaska revised surplus projections for fiscal year 2009 and faced a $360 million budget deficit.[3] Fiscal year 2009 budget revenue was $5.87 billion and fiscal year 2010 enacted budget revenue was $3.21 billion, a 45.3% decrease from 2009.[4]

Budget background

See also: Alaska state budget and finances

Alaska does not have a state income tax or statewide sales tax. Eighty-two percent of Alaska’s estimated state revenues for 2010 were from oil taxes, royalties and fees.[5] Alaska has the lowest tax burden of all 50 states.[6]

Alaska's fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30 of the following year, with year-end accruals made through August. Every state agency submits requests and statistics on the revenue and spending before the governor releases a recommended budget to the legislature by December 15. The legislature convenes on the third Tuesday in January. Once the [Alaska House of Representatives|House] and the [Alaska Senate|Senate] approve and make any necessary changes to the budget bill, the bill is passed back to the governor. If an appropriation bill is transmitted to the governor after session, the governor has 20 days to review the bill and exercise line item veto power.[7]

Accounting principles

See also: Alaska government accounting principles

Article IX, Section 14 of the Alaska State Constitution provides that, "The legislature shall appoint an auditor to serve at its pleasure. He shall be a certified public accountant. The Auditor shall conduct post-audits as prescribed by law and shall report to the legislature and to the governor.”[8]

The Legislative Budget and Audit Committee is responsible for overseeing the Division of Legislative Audit. The Committee is composed of five members from the Senate and five members from the House of Representatives.[9]

Audits are performed by the Division of Legislative Audit in order to ensure that Alaska state administrators comply with financial regulations and adequately manage their state programs; audits are published the department website.

Credit rating Fitch Moody's S&P
Alaska[10] AA Aa2 AA+

The Institute for Truth in Accounting (IFTA) rated Alaska “timely” in filing the state’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) – the annual report of state and local governmental entities. IFTA rated 22 states timely, 22 states tardy, and 6 states as worst. IFTA did not consider Alaska’s CAFRs, and those of the other states, to be accurate representations of the state’s financial condition because the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) basis did not include significant liabilities for the pension plans and for other post employment benefits, such as health care.[11] Alaska’s Department of Administration, Division of Finance is responsible for filing the CAFR, which is published on the department website.[12]

Budget transparency

See also: Evaluation of Alaska state website

Alaska has partial transparency, because of its online checkbook register.

Economic stimulus transparency

  • The American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan of 2009 designated $787 billion to be spent throughout the nation. Of that $787 billion stimulus package, it was estimated that 69%, or over $541 billion, would be administered by state governments.[13]
  • It was estimated that Alaska would receive approximately $930.7 million from the economic stimulus package.

Error in ARRP

On November 16 and 17, 2009, many errors were found in the $747 billion plan that showed the plan set aside money for congressional districts that do not exist. According to], funds would go to 884 congressional districts, though there are only 435.[14][15]

In Alaska, the ARRP showed it sent money to 13 fictitious districts, though the state only has the at-large, 00 district.[16]

See also

External links

Additional reading