New Jersey state budget
Energy policy • Public education • School choice • Public pensions • State budget • Ballot measures
|New Jersey state budget|
|State Credit Rating:||AA- (as of May 2012)|
|Current Governor:||Chris Christie|
|GF expenses:||$31.6 billion|
|All funds expenses:||$52.1 billion (FY 2013 estimate)|
|Spending % Change:||4.23%|
|% from Federal Funding:||26.25%|
|Per Capita State Debt:||$24,134|
|Other state budgets|
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- 1 Budget process
- 2 Expenditures
- 3 Revenues
- 4 State budgets by year
- 5 Historical spending
- 6 State debt
- 7 Federal aid to state budget
- 8 Budget transparency
- 9 Accounting principles
- 10 Contact information
- 11 See also
- 12 External links
- 13 References
- A summary of the budget drafting process
- Trends in expenditures and revenues
- Current and past fiscal year budget developments
- Financial transparency measures
Between fiscal year 2009 and fiscal year 2013, New Jersey's total expenditures increased by approximately $3.6 billion, from $48.5 billion in 2009 to $52.1 billion in 2013. This represents a 6.9 percent increase, below the cumulative rate of inflation during the same period (9.06 percent, calculated using the Consumer Price Indices for January 2009 and January 2013).
- Budget instruction guidelines are sent to state agencies in Augufst.
- State agency requests are submitted in October.
- Agency hearings are held in November and December.
- Public hearings are held in March and June.
- The governor submits his or her proposed budget to the New Jersey State Legislature on or before the fourth Tuesday in February.
- The legislature adopts a budget in June. A simple majority is required to pass a budget.
- The fiscal year begins July 1.
The governor is constitutionally required to submit a balanced budget. In turn, the legislature is also constitutionally required to pass a balanced budget.
Although each state executes its budget process differently, the National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO) breaks down state expenditures into four general categories. This allows for comparisons among the 50 states. NASBO's categories are as follows:
- General fund: "The predominant fund for financing a state’s operations. Revenues are received from broad-based state taxes. However, there are differences in how specific functions are financed from state to state."
- Other funds: "Expenditures from revenue sources that are restricted by law for particular governmental functions or activities. For example, a gasoline tax dedicated to a highway trust fund would appear in the “Other funds” column. For Medicaid, other state funds include provider taxes, fees, donations, assessments, and local funds."
- Federal funds: "Funds received directly from the federal government."
- Bonds: "Expenditures from the sale of bonds, generally for capital projects."
The table below breaks down expenditures for fiscal year 2013 (comparable figures from surrounding states are provided to give additional context). Figures for all columns except "Per capita expenditures" are rendered in millions of dollars (for example, $2,448 translates to $2,448,000,000). Figures in the column labeled "Per capita expenditures" have not been abbreviated.
|Total state expenditures, FY 2013 ($ in millions)|
|State||General fund||Federal funds||Other funds||Bonds||Total||Per capita expenditures**|
| **Per capita figures are calculated by taking the state's total expenditures and dividing by the number of state residents according to United States Census estimates.|
Source: National Association of State Budget Officers
Expenditures by function
State expenditures in New Jersey can be further broken down by function (elementary and secondary education, public assistance, etc.). Fiscal year 2012 data is included in the table below (information from neighboring states is provided for additional context). Figures are rendered as percents, indicating the share of the total budget spent per category.
|Expenditures by function, FY 2012 (as percents)|
|State||Elementary and secondary ed.||Higher ed.||Public assistance||Medicaid||Corrections||Transportation||Other|
|Source: National Association of State Budget Officers|
From 2008 to 2012, expenditures on education, public assistance, Medicaid and transportation increased. During that same time period, expenditures on corrections decreased by 0.2 percentage points, a 5.9 percent decrease in the share of the budget. The table below details changes in expenditures from 2008 to 2012. Figures are rendered as percents, indicating the share of the total budget spent per category.
|Expenditures from 2008 to 2012 (as percents)|
|Year||Elementary and secondary ed.||Higher ed.||Public assistance||Medicaid||Corrections||Transportation||Other|
|Change in %||0.50%||0.50%||0.10%||2.10%||-0.20%||0.20%||-3.20%|
|Source: National Association of State Budget Officers|
The table below breaks down general fund revenues by source in fiscal year 2013 (comparable figures from surrounding states are also provided to give additional context). Figures for all columns except "Per capita revenue" are rendered in millions of dollars (for example, $2,448 translates to $2,448,000,000). Figures in the column labeled "Per capita revenue" have not been abbreviated.
|Revenue sources in the general fund, FY 2013 ($ in millions)|
|State||Sales tax||Personal income tax||Corporate income tax||Gaming tax||Other taxes and fees||Total||Per capita revenue**|
| **Per capita figures are calculated by taking the state's total revenues and dividing by the number of state residents according to United States Census estimates for 2013.|
Source: National Association of State Budget Officers
The table below details the change in revenue sources in the general fund from 2009 to 2013. Figures for all columns except "Per capita revenue" are rendered in millions of dollars (for example, $2,448 translates to $2,448,000,000). Figures in the column labeled "Per capita revenue" have not been abbreviated.
|Revenue sources in the general fund, New Jersey ($ in millions)|
|Year||Sales tax||Personal income tax||Corporate income tax||Gaming tax||Other taxes and fees||Total||Per capita revenue**|
|Change in %||2.37%||16.39%||-12.67%||23.40%||1.41%||6.41%||4.12%|
| **Per capita figures are calculated by taking the state's total revenues and dividing by the number of state residents according to United States Census estimates.|
Source: National Association of State Budget Officers
State budgets by year
See budget bill: Appropriations Bill FY 2014 Summary Totals
Fiscal year 2014
|New Jersey state budget -- 2014|
|New Jersey State Legislature|
|Introduced:||June 20, 2013|
|State House:||June 24, 2013|
|Vote (lower house):||52-25|
|State Senate:||June 24, 2013|
|Vote (upper house):||29-11|
|Signed:||June 28, 2013|
Governor's proposed budget
Governor Chris Christie unveiled his $32.9 billion FY 2014 proposed budget on February 26, 2013. The proposal increased spending by $1.27 billion over the FY 2013 state budget. The proposed pension payment accounted for a portion of that increase. The governor based his calculations on the assumption that revenue would grow by 4.9 percent — far less optimistic than the prior year’s eight percent prediction.
Highlights of the governor's proposed budget include:
- Expanding Medicaid to include more than 300,000 more state citizens
- $1.67 billion pension payment
- $40 million in contingency funding in case the federal disaster relief aid for Hurricane Sandy was insufficient to cover the state’s rebuilding costs
- $2.3 billion in business tax cuts
- $2 million for a grants program for failing districts
The FY 2014 budget was balanced at $32.9 billion and included a surplus of $303 million. The budget also included a $1.676 billion payment to the state's pension fund. Before signing the bill into law on June 28, 2013, Gov. Christie vetoed a series of supplemental spending bills.
Fiscal year 2013
- See also: New Jersey state budget (2012-2013)
Fiscal year 2012
- See also: New Jersey state budget (2011-2012)
Fiscal year 2011
- See also: New Jersey state budget (2010-2011)
Fiscal year 2010
- See also: New Jersey state budget (2009-2010)
State budget historical spending below was compiled by the National Association of State Budget Officers. Figures reflect the reported "Total Expenditures" in Table 1. Figures for all columns are rendered in millions of dollars (for example, $2,448 translates to $2,448,000,000).
|Historical state budget spending in New Jersey ($ in millions)|
|Fiscal year||General Fund||Other funds||Federal funds||Bonds||Budget totals|
|Total||% of Budget||Total||% of Budget||Total||% of Budget||Total||% of Budget|
|General Fund: The predominant fund for financing a state’s operations. Revenues are received from broad-based state taxes. However, there are differences in how specific functions are financed from state to state.|
Other funds: Expenditures from revenue sources that are restricted by law for particular governmental functions or activities. For example, a gasoline tax dedicated to a highway trust fund would appear in the “Other funds” column. For Medicaid, other state funds include provider taxes, fees, donations, assessments, and local funds.
Federal funds: Funds received directly from the federal government.
Bonds: Expenditures from the sale of bonds, generally for capital projects.
According to a January 2014 report by the nonprofit organization State Budget Solutions, New Jersey had a state debt of over $213 billion. Its state debt per capita was $24,134. The report revealed that state governments faced a combined $5.1 trillion in debt, 33 percent of annual gross state product. The obligation amounts to $16,178 per capita in the nation. A bulk of the state debt -- 79 percent -- was linked to unfunded public pensions.
|Total state debt in New Jersey|
|Total state debt||$213,933,875,000||6|
|Per capita debt||$24,134||6|
|State and other fund expenditures||$36,193,000,000||6|
A 2012 report from the Pew Center on the States noted that New Jersey's pension system was funded at 71 percent at the close of fiscal year 2010, below the 80 precent funding level experts recommend. Consequently, Pew designated the state's pension system as cause for "serious concern."
The funding ratio for the state's pension system decreased from 75.96 percent in fiscal year 2007 to 64.54 percent in fiscal year 2012, a drop of 11.42 percentage points, or 15 percent. Likewise, unfunded liabilities increased from over $28.3 billion in fiscal year 2007 to more than $47.2 billion in fiscal year 2012.
States sometimes sell general obligation bonds to investors in order to finance large-scale undertakings (e.g., road construction and other public works projects). Credit rating agencies, such as Standard and Poor's, assign grades to states, evaluating their ability to pay the principal and interest on such bonds. Standard and Poor's grades range from AAA, the highest available, to BBB, the lowest. Generally speaking, a higher credit rating indicates lower risk for an investor, which in turn lowers costs for taxpayers.
The table below lists the Standard and Poor's credit rating for New Jersey from 2001 to 2012 (grades from surrounding states are provided for additional context).
|S&P credit ratings from 2001 to 2012|
|New Jersey||Delaware||Maryland||New York||Pennsylvania|
Federal aid to state budget
- See also: Federal aid to budgets in the 50 states
The chart below notes how much of the state’s general revenues come from the federal government. Figures were calculated by dividing each state’s federal intergovernmental revenue into its general revenue. The number in the rightmost column indicates the state's ranking in relation to the rest of the nation (e.g., if "1," the state receives the highest percentage of federal funding in the nation). Figures from neighboring states are included to provide additional context.
State governments receive aid from the federal government to fund a variety of joint programs, such as Medicaid. Federal aid varies considerably from state to state. For example, Mississippi received approximately $7.7 billion in federal aid in 2012, which accounted for more than 45 percent of the state's general revenues. By contrast, Alaska received roughly $2.9 billion in federal aid in 2012, just under 20 percent of the state's general revenues.
|Federal aid to state budgets in 2012|
|State||Federal aid as % of general revenue||Total federal aid (in millions)||National rank|
According to Recovery.gov, the official government website for the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, New Jersey received $4.9 billion in federal stimulus funding between February 2009 and June 2013.
|New Jersey Transparency Center|
|Line item expenditures|
|Public employee salaries|
|Last evaluated in 2010.|
New Jersey launched the New Jersey Transparency Center on July 1, 2010. The website contains data on tax collections, expenditures by various state agencies and payroll data for agencies and individuals. In November 2010 the state added financial information for 19 independent agencies, such as the New Jersey Turnpike Authority and New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority. A bipartisan bill to make the website permanent and also extend similar online oversight of government spending to the local level was stalled in the legislature.
The table to the right is helpful in evaluating the level of transparency provided by the New Jersey Transparency Center.
Multi-measure budget transparency profile
The Institute of Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois created a multi-measure transparency profile for New Jersey, which measured state transparency as of September 2011 using indicators from a range of organizations. These indicators measured both website transparency and other recognized facets of governmental transparency. In addition, IGPA presented four unique indicators of non-transparency based on the observation that transfers or reassignments between general and special funds can obscure the true fiscal condition of a state.
IGPA devised a budget transparency index based on information available from the National Association of State Budget Officers. New Jersey tied for fourth in the nation with two other states, earning seven out of eight possible points.
|New Jersey - IGPA score for budget process, contents and disclosure|
|Budget transparency indicator||Yes or no?|
|"Generally Accepted Accounting Principles" budget|
|Binding revenue forecast|
|Legislative revenue forecast|
|Constitution or statutory tax/spend limitations|
In addition to the individual state profile, IGPA offers a 50-state comparison and profiles for other states.
U.S. PIRG "Following the Money" report
- See also: Following the Money 2014 Report
The U.S. Public Interest Research Group, a consumer-focused nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C., released its annual report on state transparency websites in April 2014. The report, entitled "Following the Money," measured how transparent and accountable state websites are with regard to state government spending. According to the report, New Jersey received a grade of C+ and a numerical score of 79, indicating that New Jersey was "middling" in terms of transparency regarding state spending.
The Office of the New Jersey Comptroller is an independent office that audits government finances, reviews the performance of government programs and examines government contracts. The office was created by legislation on March 15, 2007.. It is responsible for conducting audits of the executive branch of state government, public institutions of higher education, independent state authorities and local governments and boards of education. Appointed by the governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate, the state comptroller serves a six year term and can be reappointed for a second term. All employees of the Office of State Comptroller are barred from engaging in any political activity. Matthew Boxer was sworn in as New Jersey’s first independent state comptroller on January 17, 2008. The audit reports are published online.
The Institute for Truth in Accounting (IFTA) rates New Jersey “tardy” 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 six states as worst. IFTA does not consider New Jersey'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 does not include significant liabilities for the pension plans and for other post employment benefits, such as health care. New Jersey's CAFRs are published online by the New Jersey Department of the Treasury, Office of Management and Budget.
Office of Management and Budget
P. O. Box 221
Trenton, NJ 08625-0221
Email submission form
- New Jersey government sector lobbying
- New Jersey public pensions
- Governor of New Jersey
- New Jersey State Senate
- New Jersey House of Representatives
- New Jersey State Legislature
- New Jersey Comptroller
- New Jersey Treasurer
- State Budget Solutions, New Jersey
- American Legislative Exchange Council
- Center for Policy Research of New Jersey
- New Jersey Department of the Treasury, Office of Budget and Management
- New Jersey Legislature
- New Jersey state site
- New Jersey Americans for Prosperity
- New Jersey Transparency in Government Act
- U.S. PIRG, "Report: Transparent & Accountable Budgets," April 8, 2014
- The New York Times, "Battles loom in many states over what to do with budget surpluses," February 3, 2014
- Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, "Policy Basics: The ABCs of State Budgets," February 7, 2013
- Refers to General Fund spending. Typically in state budgets the General Fund is spending that is most directly controlled by state legislators.
- This figure is derived by calculating the percent difference between the prior two years' spending levels according to the National Association of State Budget Officers.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics, "CPI Detailed Report Data for February 2014," accessed April 9, 2014
- InflationData.com, "Cumulative Inflation Calculator," February 28, 2014
- National Conference of State Legislatures "State Experiences with Annual and Biennial Budgeting," updated April 2011
- National Association of State Budget Officers "Budget Processes in the States, Summer 2008," accessed February 21, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers "State Expenditure Report, 2011-2013," accessed February 21, 2014
- United States Census Bureau, "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2013," accessed February 26, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2009-2011," accessed February 24, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditures Report, 2010-2012," accessed February 24, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2009," accessed February 24, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2008," accessed February 24, 2014
- United States Census Bureau, "Vintage 2009: Annual Population Estimates," accessed February 26, 2014
- NJ.com, "Christie unveils $32.9B N.J. budget that expands Medicaid, covers pension payment," February 26, 2013
- The Wall Street Journal, "Christie Sets Modest Course," February 26, 2013
- State of New Jersey, "Fiscal Year 2014 Budget: Recover. Rebuild. Restore.," June 28, 2013
- State of New Jersey, "Governor Chris Christie Takes Action on Pending Legislation," June 28, 2013
- State Budget Solutions, "State Budget Solutions' Fourth Annual State Debt Report," January 8, 2014
- Washington Examiner, "EXography: Unfunded public employee pensions drive state debts skyward," January 21, 2014
- State Budget Solutions "State Budget Solutions' Fourth Annual State Debt Report," January 8, 2014
- Pew Center on the States, "Widening Gap Update: New Jersey," June 18, 2012
- Stateline: The Daily News Service of The Pew Charitable Trusts, "Infographic: S&P State Credit Ratings, 2001-2012," July 13, 2012
- United States Census Bureau, "State Government Finances: 2012," accessed February 24, 2014
- Recovery.gov, "Stimulus Spending by State," accessed February 21, 2014
- The Star Ledger, "N.J. government transparency website launches," July 1, 2010
- The Star Ledger, "N.J. website details finances of state independent authorities," November 29, 2010
- Institute of Government and Public Affairs at University of Illinois, "Home page," accessed February 21, 2014
- Institute of Government and Public Affairs at University of Illinois, "Budget Transparency Profiles - All 50 States," September 2011
- U.S. Public Interest Research Group, "Following the Money 2014 Report," accessed April 15, 2014
- [New Jersey State Comptroller Website accessed November 1, 2009
- New Jersey State Comptroller Website, accessed November 1, 2009
- Institute for Truth in Accounting, “The Truth About Balanced Budgets—A Fifty State Study,” Page 35
- New Jersey Department of the Treasury, Office of Management and Budget Website, accessed November 1, 2009
- New Jersey State Treasurer Website, accessed August 1, 2013