Alaska state budget (2009-2010)
Alaska revised surplus projections for fiscal year 2009 and faced a $360 million budget deficit. 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.
- See also: Alaska state budget
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. Alaska has the lowest tax burden of all 50 states.
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.
- 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.”
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.
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.
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. Alaska’s Department of Administration, Division of Finance is responsible for filing the CAFR, which is published on the department website.
- 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.
- 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 Recovery.gov], funds would go to 884 congressional districts, though there are only 435.
In Alaska, the ARRP showed it sent money to 13 fictitious districts, though the state only has the at-large, 00 district.
- Alaska Checkbook Online
- State Budget Solutions, Alaska
- Model transparency legislation (PDF) from the American Legislative Exchange Council
- Institute of the North
- Division of Finance, Alaskan government
- State budget surpluses could dry up
- The Alaska Citizen's Guide to the Budget
- State of Alaska, "Gov. Sean Parnell - State of the State Address 2010," January 20, 2010
- News Miner, "House committee to address state’s long-term financial future," January 20, 2010
- Gov. Sarah Palin, "2009 State of the state address," January 22, 2009
- Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, "Alaska Legislature considers uncoupling oil and natural gas taxes to boost state revenue," March 13, 2009
- Alaska Journal of Commerce, “Parnell says he'll tackle state budget planning with care,” September 18, 2009
- Alaska FY 2010 Budget, August 18, 2009
- Center on Budget & Policy Priorities, “New Fiscal Year Brings No Relief From Unprecedented State Budget Problems,” September 3, 2009
- Alaska FY 2010 Budget, August 18, 2009
- Reuters, “Alaska sees $1.25 billion budget gap on oil price drop,” February 19, 2009
- Tax Foundation "Monday Maps: State and Local Tax Burdens vs. State Tax Collections" May 2010
- State of Alaska, "Life cycle of a budget," accessed October 7,2009 (PPT)
- Alaska Division of Legislative Audit Web site, retrieved October 7, 2009
- Legislative Budget & Audit Committee Web site, retrieved October 7, 2009
- California State Treasurer, “Comparison of Other States’ General Obligation Bond Ratings”
- Institute for Truth in Accounting, “The Truth About Balanced Budgets—A Fifty State Study,” Page 35
- Alaska Division of Finance Web site, retrieved October 7, 2009
- National Taxpayers Union, "A Letter to the Nation's Governors: Ensure Transparency and Accountability by Posting Stimulus Expenditures Online," March 10, 2009
- $6.4 Billion Stimulus goes to Phantom Districts, Watchdog.org, November 17, 2009
- Stimulus Creates Jobs in Non-Existent Congressional Districts, Watchdog.org, November 16, 2009
- Alaska, Watchdog.org, November 17, 2009