State Government Revenues Exceed Expenditures in 2013, Census Bureau Reports

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Press Release, Release Number: CB15-22, February 3, 2015

Total state government revenue rose by 16.3 percent, from $1.9 trillion in 2012 to $2.2 trillion in 2013, according to the latest findings on state government finances from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Nearly three-quarters of that increase (73.9 percent) is attributable to the growth in insurance trust revenue, which grew by 89.7 percent, from $255.8 billion in 2012 to $485.2 billion in 2013, and is comprised mostly of pension systems administered by state governments. These insurance trust figures reflect the market value of investments, meaning that they are affected by fluctuations in capital markets and not solely by governments’ fiscal policies. Total expenditures for state governments were $2.0 trillion, an increase of 1.2 percent from 2012. …

General revenues for state governments were $1.7 trillion in 2013, an increase of 4.9 percent from $1.6 trillion. The major sources of general revenue were taxes (49.5 percent), federal grants (30.0 percent) and current charges (10.7 percent). General expenditures also rose but at a lower rate, rising 2.1 percent, from $1.6 trillion in 2012 to $1.7 trillion in 2013.

The findings are from the Annual Survey of State Government Finances, which shows revenues, expenditures, debt, and cash and security holdings for each state, as well as a national summary of state government finances. The major source of these finance statistics is the governments’ own accounting systems, either directly from a government’s own records or through intermediate reporting systems.

States that reported the highest increases in general revenues from 2012 to 2013 were North Dakota, which increased 14.0 percent from $7.1 billion to $8.1 billion, followed by New York (up 11.2 percent from $148.6 billion to $165.2 billion) and California (up 10.2 percent from $199.4 billion to $219.7 billion).

Additional data from the Annual Survey of Public Pensions were also released today. Contributions to state and local public employee pension systems rose 7.2 percent, from $143.4 billion in 2012 to $153.8 billion in 2013. Earnings on investments, which are affected by fluctuations in capital markets, rose 311.9 percent, from $93.1 billion to $383.3 billion between 2012 and 2013.