Georgia state budget and finances

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Georgia budget and finances
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General information
Budget calendar:
Annual
Fiscal year:
2015
State credit rating:
AAA (as of 2014)
Current governor:
Nathan Deal
Financial figures
Total spending (state and federal funds):
$41.4 billion (estimated for 2014)
Per capita spending:
$4,098 (estimated for 2014)
Total state tax collections:
$17.8 billion (2013)
Per capita tax collections:
$1,780 (2013)
State debt:
$115.2 billion (as of 2014)
Per capita state debt:
$11,612 (as of 2014)
State budgets and finances
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Total state expendituresState debtTax policy in Georgia
Note: This page utilizes information from a variety of sources. As such, the currency of the information varies somewhat. The information presented on this page reflects the most recent data available as of February 2015.
Between fiscal years 2013 and 2014, total government spending in Georgia increased by approximately $300 million, from $41.1 billion in 2013 in fiscal year 2013 to an estimated $41.4 billion in 2014. This represents a 0.7 percent increase. The cumulative rate of inflation during the same period was 1.58 percent, calculated using the Consumer Price Indices for January 2013 and January 2014. As of 2014, financial services firm Standard and Poor's had assigned Georgia a credit rating of AAA.[1][2][3]
In fiscal year 2014, total estimated spending in Georgia amounted to $41.4 billion. In 2012 Georgia ranked seventh in the nation for the percentage of its revenue comprised of federal aid, which stood at 37.9 percent.

Spending

Definitions

The information below comes from the National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO). These spending figures are broken into three broad categories in order to facilitate comparison between the states.[3]

  • State funds: State funds include general and other state-based funds. A general fund is "the predominant fund for financing a state's operations." Other state funds are "restricted by law for particular governmental functions or activities."
  • Federal funds: Federal funds are "funds received directly from the federal government."
  • Total spending: Total spending is calculated by adding together the totals for state and federal funds.

These figures exclude spending from the sale of bonds.

2014 expenditures

See also: Total state expenditures

The table below breaks down estimated spending totals for fiscal year 2014 (comparable figures from surrounding states are included to provide additional context). Figures for all columns except "Population” and “Per capita spending" are rendered in millions of dollars (for example, $2,448 translates to $2,448,000,000). Figures in the columns labeled "Population” and “Per capita spending" have not been abbreviated.[3]

Total estimated spending in Georgia amounted to $41.4 billion. Estimated per capita spending totaled $4,098.

Total estimated state spending, FY 2014 ($ in millions)
State State funds Federal funds Total spending Population Per capita spending
Georgia $29,545 $11,834 $41,379 10,097,343 $4,098.01
Alabama $14,605 $9,288 $23,893 4,849,377 $4,927.02
Florida $48,135 $25,416 $73,551 19,893,297 $3,697.28
South Carolina $14,445 $6,993 $21,438 4,832,482 $4,436.23
Tennessee $18,832 $13,231 $32,063 6,549,352 $4,895.60
Per capita figures are calculated by taking the state's total spending and dividing by the number of state residents according to United States Census estimates.[4]
Source: National Association of State Budget Officers

Spending by function

See also: State spending by function as a percent of total expenditures
Breakdown of spending by function in FY 2013
Source: National Association of State Budget Officers

State spending in Georgia can be further broken down by function (elementary and secondary education, public assistance, etc.). Fiscal year 2013 information is included in the table below (information from neighboring states is provided for additional context). Figures are rendered as percentages, indicating the share of the total budget spent per category.[3]

In 2013 the bulk of Georgia's budget was dedicated to K-12 education at 24.1 percent, a higher percentage than any neighboring states. Georgia also dedicated a smaller portion of its budget to Medicaid than its neighboring states.

State spending by function as a percent of total expenditures, FY 2013
State K-12 education Higher education Public assistance Medicaid Corrections Trans-
portation
Other
Georgia 24.1% 19% 0.1% 21.3% 3.7% 5.7% 26.2%
Alabama 20.4% 19.9% 0.2% 22.8% 2.4% 6.5% 27.7%
Florida 19.3% 8.5% 0.3% 31.8% 3.9% 10.9% 25.4%
South Carolina 17.6% 19.5% 0.4% 22.0% 2.7% 5.4% 32.4%
Tennessee 17.8% 13.9% 0.4% 30.8% 2.8% 6.1% 28.2%
Source: National Association of State Budget Officers
Note: "Other" expenditures include "Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), institutional and community care for the mentally ill and developmentally disabled, public health programs, employer contributions to pensions and health benefits, economic development, environmental projects, state police, parks and recreation, housing and general aid to local governments."[3]

Spending trends

Between 2009 and 2013, the portion of Georgia's budget dedicated to higher education increased from 14.9 percent to 19 percent. Meanwhile, the portions dedicated to expenditures labeled as "Other" decreased from 30.7 percent to 26.2 percent. The portion dedicated to K-12 education remained steady. See the table below for further details (figures are rendered as percentages, indicating the share of the total budget spent per category).[3][5][6][7][8]

Spending by function from 2009 to 2013 (as percentages)
Year K-12 education Higher education Public assistance Medicaid Corrections Transportation Other
2013 24.1% 19% 0.1% 21.3% 3.7% 5.7% 26.2%
2012 24.0% 18.7% 0.1% 21.5% 3.7% 5.2% 26.8%
2011 25.2% 17.1% 1.2% 20.5% 3.0% 4.7% 28.2%
2010 24.6% 17.1% 1.4% 19.5% 3.0% 6.2% 28.3%
2009 24.2% 14.9% 1.3% 19.5% 3.0% 6.5% 30.7%
Source: National Association of State Budget Officers
Note: "Other" expenditures include "Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), institutional and community care for the mentally ill and developmentally disabled, public health programs, employer contributions to pensions and health benefits, economic development, environmental projects, state police, parks and recreation, housing and general aid to local governments."[3]

Revenues

2013 revenues

See also: State government tax collections by source

The table below breaks down state government tax collections by source in 2013 (comparable figures from surrounding states are also provided to give additional context). Figures for all columns except "Population" and "Per capita revenue" are rendered in thousands of dollars (for example, $2,448 translates to $2,448,000). Figures in the columns labeled "Population" and "Per capita revenue" have not been abbreviated.[9]

Total tax collections in Georgia amounted to $17.8 billion, while per capita collections came out to $1,780.

State tax collections by source ($ in thousands)
State Property taxes Sales and gross receipts Licenses Individual income taxes Corporation net income taxes Other taxes Total 2013 population Per capita collections
Georgia $61,052 $7,408,422 $744,401 $8,772,227 $797,255 $10,795 $17,794,152 9,994,759 $1,780.35
Alabama $322,300 $4,707,375 $490,475 $3,202,520 $382,202 $161,597 $9,266,469 4,833,996 $1,916.94
Florida $360 $28,526,653 $1,993,965 N/A $2,071,710 $1,995,790 $34,588,478 19,600,311 $1,764.69
South Carolina $8,549 $4,476,982 $439,843 $3,357,518 $386,669 $51,744 $8,721,305 4,771,929 $1,827.63
Tennessee N/A $9,128,175 $1,421,174 $262,842 $1,256,173 $298,527 $12,366,891 6,497,269 $1,903.40
Source: Tax Policy Center, "State Tax Collection Sources 2000-2013," June 20, 2014
Georgia tax collections by source in 2013
Source: Tax Policy Center

The table below lists 2013 tax collections by source as percentages of total collections. In Georgia, individual income taxes generated nearly half of total tax collections at 49.3 percent.[9]

State tax collections by source (as percentages)
State Property taxes Sales and gross receipts Licenses Individual income taxes Corporation net income taxes Other taxes
Georgia 0.34% 41.63% 4.18% 49.3% 4.48% 0.06%
Alabama 3.48% 50.8% 5.29% 34.56% 4.12% 1.74%
Florida 0.0% 82.47% 5.76% N/A 5.99% 5.77%
South Carolina 0.1% 51.33% 5.04% 38.5% 4.43% 0.59%
Tennessee N/A 73.81% 11.49% 2.13% 10.16% 2.41%
Source: Tax Policy Center, "State Tax Collection Sources 2000-2013," June 20, 2014

Current fiscal year budget

See also: Historical Georgia budget and finance information

Fiscal year 2015

DocumentIcon.jpg See budget bill: HB 744

Governor Nathan Deal announced his fiscal year 2015 budget proposal on January 15, 2014. Under the governor's proposal, total spending for fiscal year 2015 would have equaled approximately $42.3 billion, including $20.8 billion in state spending (the remainder coming from federal funds). The budget included an addition $547 million for K-12 education over fiscal year 2014 expenditures.[10]

On April 28, 2014, Deal signed into law the fiscal year 2015 budget. The enacted budget assumed new revenues of $602.5 million (or 3 percent over fiscal year 2014). Of that, 80 percent was dedicated to K-12 education.[10]

State debt

See also: State debt

According to a January 2014 report by the nonprofit organization State Budget Solutions, Georgia had a state debt of approximately $115.2 billion. Its state debt per capita was $11,612. The report revealed that state governments faced a combined $5.1 trillion in debt. The obligation amounted to $16,178 per capita in the nation.[11]

Total state debt, 2014
State Total state debt State debt per capita Per capita debt ranking
Georgia $115,193,862,000 $11,612 39
Alabama $68,343,597,000 $14,173 26
Florida $197,871,611,000 $10,243 43
South Carolina $71,105,557,000 $15,053 23
Tennessee $41,049,738,000 $6,358 50
Sources: State Budget Solutions, "State Budget Solutions' Fourth Annual State Debt Report," January 8, 2014

Public pensions

See also: Georgia public pensions and Georgia public employee salaries

Between fiscal years 2008 and 2012, the funded ratio of Georgia's state-administered pension plans decreased from 91.5 percent to 81.9 percent. The state paid 100 percent of its annual required contribution, and for fiscal year 2012 the pension system's unfunded accrued liability totaled $15.04 billion. This amounted to $1,589 in unfunded liabilities per capita.[12][13]

Credit ratings

See also: State credit ratings

Credit rating agencies, such as Standard and Poor's, assign grades to states that take into account a state's ability to pay debts and the general health of the state's economy. Generally speaking, a higher credit rating indicates lower interest costs on the general obligation bonds states sometimes sell to investors in order to finance large-scale undertakings (e.g., road construction and other public works projects). This in turn results in lower interest costs, thereby lowering the cost to taxpayers.[14][15]

The table below lists the Standard and Poor's credit ratings for Georgia and surrounding states from 2004 to 2014. Standard and Poor's grades range from AAA, the highest available, to BBB, the lowest.[16]

State credit ratings, 2004 to 2014
State 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004
Georgia AAA AAA AAA AAA AAA AAA AAA AAA AAA AAA AAA
Alabama AA AA AA AA AA AA AA AA AA AA AA
Florida AAA AAA AAA AAA AAA AAA AAA AAA AAA AAA AA+
South Carolina AA+ AA+ AA+ AA+ AA+ AA+ AA+ AA+ AA+ AA+ AAA
Tennessee AA+ AA+ AA+ AA+ AA+ AA+ AA+ AA+ AA+ AA AA
Source: Stateline: The Daily News Service of The Pew Charitable Trusts, "Infographic: S&P State Credit Ratings, 2001-2014," June 9, 2014

Federal aid to the state budget

See also: Federal aid to state budgets

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.[17]

The table below notes what share of Georgia’s general revenues came from the federal government in 2012. That year, Georgia received approximately $13.8 billion in federal aid, 37.9 percent of the state's total general revenues. Figures from surrounding states are provided for additional context.[17]

Federal aid to state budgets, 2012
State Total federal aid ($ in thousands) Federal aid as a % of general revenue Ranking
Georgia $13,794,726 37.92% 7
Alabama $8,112,509 36.5% 9
Florida $22,850,620 31.7% 30
South Carolina $6,892,660 32.41% 28
Tennessee $11,198,575 40.97% 3
Source: United States Census Bureau, "State Government Finances: 2012," accessed February 24, 2014

Stimulus

According to Recovery.gov, the official government website for the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Georgia received $6.1 billion in federal stimulus funding between February 2009 and June 2013.[18]

Budget process

The state operates on an annual budget cycle.[19] The sequence of key events in the budget process is as follows:[20]

  1. In July of the year preceding the start of the new fiscal year, the governor sends budget instructions to state agencies.
  2. In September agencies submit their budget requests to the governor.
  3. Budget hearings are held with state agencies in November and December.
  4. Public hearings are held in late January.
  5. In January the governor submits his or her proposed budget to the state legislature.
  6. The legislature adopts a budget in March or April, effective for the fiscal year beginning in July. A simple majority is required to pass a budget.

The governor is constitutionally required to submit a balanced budget to the legislature. In turn, the legislature must pass a balanced budget, and any budget signed into law by the governor must be balanced.[20]

Georgia is one of 44 states in which the governor has line item veto authority.[20]

Agencies, offices and committees

The following standing committees in the Georgia General Assembly deal with budget and finance matters:

  1. Appropriations Committee, Georgia House of Representatives
  2. Appropriations Committee, Georgia State Senate
  3. Budget and Fiscal Affairs Oversight Committee, Georgia House of Representatives
  4. Finance Committee, Georgia State Senate
  5. Ways and Means Committee, Georgia House of Representatives

The Georgia State Auditor conducts audits of state agencies for their compliance, performance and financial management. The auditor is appointed by the Georgia Legislature and has no term limits.

The Georgia Treasurer manages the receipt and disbursement of state and lottery funds, as well as the state's cash resources. The treasurer is appointed by the State Depository Board and has no term limits.

Studies and reports

U.S. PIRG "Following the Money" report

See also: "Following the Money" report, 2014

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.[21] According to the report, Georgia received a grade of C and a numerical score of 74, indicating that Georgia was "middling." in terms of transparency regarding state spending.[21]

Budget and finance ballot measures

Voting on
state and local
government budgets,
spending and finance
State finance.jpg
Policy
Budget policy
Ballot measures
By state
By year
Not on ballot
See also: Spending and finance on the ballot and List of Georgia ballot measures

Ballotpedia has tracked 2 ballot measure(s) relating to state and local budget and financial matters in Georgia.

  1. Georgia Reckless Driving Fines for Injury Trust Fund, Amendment B (2014)
  2. Georgia Safe Harbor for Sexually Exploited Children Fund Amendment (2016)

Recent news

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Some of the stories below may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of Google's news search engine.

Georgia state budget and finances - Google News Feed

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Contact information

Governor's Office of Planning and Budget
270 Washington Street, S.W., 8th Floor
Atlanta, GA 30334
Phone: 404-656-3820
Fax: 404-656-3828

See also

External links

Additional reading

References

  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, "CPI Detailed Report Data for February 2014," accessed April 9, 2014
  2. InflationData.com, "Cumulative Inflation Calculator," February 28, 2014
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report: 2012-2014," accessed February 18, 2015
  4. United States Census Bureau, "State and County QuickFacts," accessed February 23, 2014
  5. National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2009-2011," accessed February 24, 2014
  6. National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditures Report, 2010-2012," accessed February 24, 2014
  7. National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2009," accessed February 24, 2014
  8. National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2008," accessed February 24, 2014
  9. 9.0 9.1 Tax Policy Center, "State Tax Collection Sources 2000-2013," June 20, 2014
  10. 10.0 10.1 National Association of State Budget Officers, "Summaries of Fiscal Year 2015 Proposed and Enacted Budgets," July 11, 2014
  11. State Budget Solutions, "State Budget Solutions' Fourth Annual State Debt Report," January 8, 2014
  12. Morningstar, "The State of State Pension Plans 2013: A Deep Dive Into Shortfalls and Surpluses," accessed September 16, 2013
  13. The Pew Charitable Trusts, “The Fiscal Health of State Pension Plans Funding Gap Continues to Grow,” accessed April 8, 2014
  14. Stateline: The Daily News Service of The Pew Charitable Trusts, "Infographic: S&P State Credit Ratings, 2001-2012," July 13, 2012
  15. Bankrate, "The 6 states with the worst credit ratings," September 27, 2012
  16. Stateline: The Daily News Service of The Pew Charitable Trusts, "Infographic: S&P State Credit Ratings, 2001-2014," June 9, 2014
  17. 17.0 17.1 United States Census Bureau, "State Government Finances: 2012," accessed February 24, 2014
  18. Recovery, "Stimulus Spending by State," accessed March 18, 2015
  19. National Conference of State Legislatures, "State Experiences with Annual and Biennial Budgeting," updated April 2011
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 National Association of State Budget Officers, "Budget Processes in the States, Summer 2008," accessed February 21, 2014
  21. 21.0 21.1 U.S. Public Interest Research Group, "Following the Money 2014 Report," accessed April 15, 2014