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Nebraska state budget and finances

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Nebraska budget and finances
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General information
Budget calendar:
Biennial
Fiscal year:
2015
State credit rating:
AAA (as of 2014)
Current governor:
Pete Ricketts
Financial figures
Total spending (state and federal funds):
$10.5 billion (estimated for 2014)
Per capita spending:
$5,602.97 (estimated for 2014)
Total state tax collections:
$4.7 billion (2013)
Per capita tax collections:
$2,524.89 (2013)
State debt:
$13.1 billion (as of 2014)
Per capita state debt:
$7,081 (as of 2014)
State budgets and finances
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Total state expendituresState debtTax policy in Nebraska
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 spending in Nebraska increased by approximately $380 million, from $10.2 billion in fiscal year 2013 to an estimated $10.5 billion in 2014. This represents a 3.7 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 Nebraska a credit rating of AAA, the highest score available.[1][2][3]
As of 2014, Nebraska's state debt per capita was $7,081, the second lowest in the nation.

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]

In Nebraska in fiscal year 2014, total estimated government spending amounted to $10.5 billion. Estimated per capita spending equaled $5,603.

Total estimated state spending, FY 2014 ($ in millions)
State State funds Federal funds Total spending Population Per capita spending
Nebraska $7,725 $2,817 $10,542 1,881,503 $5,602.97
Iowa $13,957 $6,122 $20,079 3,107,126 $6,462.24
Kansas $11,158 $3,511 $14,669 2,904,021 $5,051.27
Missouri $15,970 $7,208 $23,178 6,063,589 $3,822.49
South Dakota $2,669 $1,420 $4,089 853,175 $4,792.69
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 Nebraska 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 Nebraska in fiscal year 2013, Medicaid accounted for 17.9 percent of total state spending, a smaller share than in any neighboring state.

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
Nebraska 14.6% 23.3% 0.5% 17.9% 2.2% 7.8% 33.6%
Iowa 16.4% 26.0% 0.5% 19.8% 2.1% 6.8% 28.3%
Kansas 26.8% 18.2% 0.2% 18.5% 2.7% 7.2% 26.4%
Missouri 22.8% 4.8% 0.7% 35.8% 2.7% 9.4% 23.8%
South Dakota 14.1% 22.3% 0.7% 19.9% 2.5% 15.0% 25.5%
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 share of the Nebraska state budget spent on higher education increased from 22.7 percent to 23.3 percent. 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 14.6% 23.3% 0.5% 17.9% 2.2% 7.8% 33.6%
2012 15.3% 23.5% 0.5% 16.7% 2.3% 7.5% 34.3%
2011 16.3% 22.8% 0.6% 16.4% 2.3% 6.6% 34.9%
2010 15.7% 22.4% 0.6% 17.2% 2.3% 7.4% 34.4%
2009 15.1% 22.7% 0.6% 17.6% 2.4% 8.2% 33.4%
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]

In Nebraska in 2013, total state tax collections equaled $4.7 billion. Per capita tax collections were $2,525.

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
Nebraska $148 $2,197,988 $130,762 $2,101,694 $275,563 $12,789 $4,718,944 1,868,969 $2,524.89
Iowa N/A $3,608,991 $798,137 $3,436,758 $428,554 $101,936 $8,374,376 3,092,341 $2,708.10
Kansas $79,475 $3,742,916 $382,944 $2,956,588 $384,553 $73,806 $7,620,282 2,895,801 $2,631.49
Missouri $29,896 $4,791,043 $550,824 $5,380,651 $377,258 $11,073 $11,140,745 6,044,917 $1,842.99
South Dakota N/A $1,228,262 $257,220 N/A $37,172 $11,009 $1,533,663 845,510 $1,813.89
Source: Tax Policy Center, "State Tax Collection Sources 2000-2013," June 20, 2014
Nebraska 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 Nebraska, corporation net income taxes accounted for 5.8 percent of total state tax collections, a greater share than in any neighboring state.[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
Nebraska 0.0% 46.58% 2.77% 44.54% 5.84% 0.27%
Iowa N/A 43.1% 9.53% 41.04% 5.12% 1.22%
Kansas 1.04% 49.12% 5.03% 38.8% 5.05% 0.97%
Missouri 0.27% 43.0% 4.94% 48.3% 3.39% 0.1%
South Dakota N/A 80.09% 16.77% N/A 2.42% 0.72%
Source: Tax Policy Center, "State Tax Collection Sources 2000-2013," June 20, 2014

Current fiscal year budget

See also: Historic Nebraska budget and finance information

Fiscal years 2014 and 2015

On March 29, 2014, Governor Dave Heineman signed into law a biennium budget adjustment for the 2014 and 2015 fiscal years. Total appropriations from all funds totaled $8.47 billion for fiscal years 2014 and 2015.[10]

State debt

See also: State debt

According to a January 2014 report by the nonprofit organization State Budget Solutions, Nebraska had a state debt of approximately $13.1 billion. Its state debt per capita was $7,081. 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
Nebraska $13,139,045,000 $7,081 49
Iowa $37,783,060,000 $12,290 38
Kansas $39,025,693,000 $13,523 28
Missouri $76,489,010,000 $12,702 34
South Dakota $7,707,458,000 $9,249 46
Sources: State Budget Solutions, "State Budget Solutions' Fourth Annual State Debt Report," January 8, 2014

Public pensions

See also: Nebraska public pensions and Nebraska public employee salaries

Nebraska had 37,060 total public employees as of 2011.[12] In Fiscal Year 2012, the state had a total of 82,898 active pension fund members, with 20,697 receiving periodic benefit payments.[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 Nebraska 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
Nebraska AAA AAA AAA AAA AA+ AA+ AA+ AA+ AA+ AA+ AA+
Iowa AAA AAA AAA AAA AAA AAA AAA AA+ AA+ AA+ AA+
Kansas AA+ AA+ AA+ AA+ AA+ AA+ AA+ AA+ AA+ AA+ AA+
Missouri AAA AAA AAA AAA AAA AAA AAA AAA AAA AAA AAA
South Dakota 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 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 Nebraska’s general revenues came from the federal government in 2012. That year, Nebraska received approximately $3.1 billion in federal aid, 34.2 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
Nebraska $3,141,413 34.22% 22
Iowa $6,073,376 33.08% 26
Kansas $4,061,217 26.95% 41
Missouri $10,440,927 39.42% 5
South Dakota $1,630,220 40.84% 4
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, Nebraska received $1.27 billion in federal stimulus funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act between February 2009 and June 2013.[18]

Budget process

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

  1. Budget instruction guidelines are sent to state agencies in July.
  2. Agency requests are submitted to the governor in September.
  3. Agency hearings and public hearings are held in January and February.
  4. On or before January 15, the governor submits his or her proposed budget to the Nebraska State Senate.
  5. The Senate adopts a budget in May. A simple majority is required to pass a budget.

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

The governor is constitutionally required to submit a balanced budget. In turn, the legislature is statutorily required to adopt a balanced budget.[20]

Agencies, offices and committees

The following standing committee in the Nebraska State Legislature deals with budget and finance matters:[21]

  1. Appropriations Committee, Nebraska State Legislature

The Nebraska Auditor of Public Accounts office is responsible for independent, accurate and timely audits, evaluations and investigations of the financial operations of Nebraska state and local governments. Nebraska's audit reports are published online.[22]

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.[23] According to the report, Nebraska received a grade of B- and a numerical score of 82, indicating that Nebraska was an "advancing" state in terms of transparency regarding state spending.[23]

Budget and finance ballot measures

See also: Spending and finance on the ballot and List of Nebraska ballot measures

Ballotpedia has tracked 6 ballot measures relating to state and local budget and financial matters in Nebraska.

  1. Nebraska Investment of Public Endowment Funds, Amendment 1 (May 2008)
  2. Nebraska Private Sector Endowment Fund Investment, Constitutional Amendment 2 (2006)
  3. Nebraska Spending Limit Amendment, Initiative Measure 423 (2006)
  4. Nebraska TIF Project, Constitutional Amendment 6 (2006)
  5. Nebraska Tax and Spending Increase Limits, Measure 405 (1990)
  6. Nebraska Tax and Spending Limits, Measure 413 (1998)

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "Nebraska + budget"

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

Nebraska state budget news feed

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Contact information

Nebraska Budget Division
Room 1320, State Capitol
P.O. Box 94664
Lincoln, NE 68509-4664
Telephone: 402-471-2526
Fax: 402-471-8074

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. State of Nebraska, "All Fund Types Functional Summary, 2013-2015 Biennium," accessed September 24, 2014
  11. State Budget Solutions, "State Budget Solutions' Fourth Annual State Debt Report," January 8, 2014
  12. 2011 Annual Survey of Public Employment and Payroll, Census 2010
  13. 2010 Annual Survey of Public Employment and Payroll--Membership by State, Census 2010
  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 20, 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. Nebraska Legislature, "Standing Committees," accessed March 20, 2015
  22. Nebraska Auditor of Public Accounts, "Home page," accessed March 18, 2015
  23. 23.0 23.1 U.S. Public Interest Research Group, "Following the Money 2014 Report," accessed April 15, 2014