Montana state budget

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Montana state budget

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Budget calendar:  Biennial
Fiscal year:  2014
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The state of Montana operates on a biennial budget cycle, with the current one encompassing FY2012 and FY2013.[1] The fiscal year begins on July 1 of each year.

In FY2012, Montana had a total state debt of approximately $9,530,232,000 when calculated by adding the total of outstanding official debt, pension and other post-employment benefits (OPEB) liabilities, Unemployment Trust Fund loans, and the FY2013 state budget gap.[2] The state debt total was similar to the FY2012 state debt of $9,533,441,000, [3] Montana's total state debt per capita was $9,547.43.[4]

Federal Aid to State Budget

The chart below represents how much of the state’s budget came from the federal government. The number was the corresponding ranking in relation to the rest of the nation (if #1, the state receives the highest percentage of federal funding in the nation):

State 2008 2009 2010 2011
Montana 34.95% (#7) 36.71% (#11) 41.68% (#10) 41.86% (#8)
  • Figures were calculated by dividing each state’s intergovernmental revenue into its general revenue.[5][6]


Governor Bullock's 2014-15 Budget Proposal can be found online. It includes over $110 million in tax cuts and rebates, using the existing $400 million of general fund balance to give a $400 rebate to every Montana primary homeowner. The governor's proposal includes a $300 million ending fund balance on June 30, 2015.[7][8]

Budget background

Montana operates on a biennium budget. The biennium includes a 24-month period from July 1st of odd-numbered years to June 30th of odd-numbered years, such as the 2009-11 biennium, which ran from July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2011. According to state law the Governor was required to submit a budget recommendation to the Legislature by November 15 on even numbered years.[9] The state Constitution gives sole authority to the Legislature to appropriate state funds. The House and the Senate review the recommended budget along with any requests made beginning January of the next fiscal year and additional revenue forecasts.[10][11]

Accounting principles

See also:Montana government accounting principles

The Montana Legislative Auditor conducts financial and compliance, performance, and information system audits of state agencies or their programs, including the university system. Their audit reports were published online. The Legislative Auditor was solely responsible to the Legislative Assembly and was appointed by and operates primarily through the Legislative Audit Committee. The term of office was for two years beginning July 1 of each even numbered year.[12][13]

The Institute for Truth in Accounting (IFTA) rates Montana “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 Montana'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.[14] Montana's CAFRs were published online by the Department of Administration, State Accounting Division, State Accounting Bureau. Mr. Paul Christofferson was Administrator of the Montana State Accounting Division. The Accounting Bureau was responsible for the preparation of the CAFR and auditing all local government entities.[15][16]

Credit Ratings

Credit Rating Fitch Moody's S&P
Montana[17] AA Aa2 AA[18]


Montana received $1.37 billion in federal stimulus funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act between February 2009 and June 2013.[19]

Public Employees

See also: Montana public employee salaries and Montana public pensions

According to 2011 Census data, the state of Montana employed a total of 72,847 people.[20] Of those employees, 48,254 were full-time employees receiving a net pay of $182.6 million per month and 24,593 were part-time employees paid $24.0 million per month.[20]

See also

External links

Additional reading


  1. National Conference of State Legislatures "State Experiences with Annual and Biennial Budgeting" April 2011
  2. State Budget Solutions "State Budget Solutions' third annual State Debt Report shows total state debt over $4 trillion" Aug. 28, 2012
  3. State Budget Solutions “Report reveals aggregate state debt exceeds $4 trillion” Oct. 24, 2011
  4. State Budget Solutions "State debt more than $37,000 per private worker, $13,000 per capita" Oct. 2, 2012
  5. US Census Federal Aid to State and Local Governments
  6. Tax Foundation' "Monday Map: Federal Aid to State Budgets. Accessed October 15, 2013
  7. Governor Bullock's 2014-15 Budget Proposal Jan. 7, 2012
  8. 2014-2015 Budget Proposal
  9. National Association of Budget Officers, "Budget Processes in the States," 2008
  10. State of Montana,"TIMETABLE FOR 2011 BIENNIUM EXECUTIVE BUDGET AND 2009 BIENNIUM ACTIONS," January 15,2009
  11. Montana Legislature,"STATE OF MONTANA BUDGET PROCESS," December 7,2007
  12. Legislative Audit Division Web site, retrieved October 30, 2009
  13. audit reports
  14. Institute for Truth in Accounting, “The Truth About Balanced Budgets—A Fifty State Study,” Page 35
  15. Department of Administration, State Accounting Division, State Accounting Bureau Web site, retrieved October 30, 2009
  16. CAFRs
  17. State of Indiana, “State Credit Ratings-as of June 24, 2009"
  18. Pew Stateline Infographic on State Credit Ratings. Accessed September 26, 2013
  19. Recovery, "Stimulus Spending by State"
  20. 20.0 20.1 2011 Montana Public Employment U.S. Census Data