How Much Does Government Cost in your State?




















Government Administration Expenditures

This data is from the U.S. Census Bureau’s “Annual State Survey of Government Finances” which gives the state governments’ general expenditures for each function the government performs. The government administration expenditures category comprises five expenditure groups: financial administration, judicial and legal, federal and state legislative, central staff services, and general public buildings (Methodology for Summary Tabulations).

Government administration expenditures refer to the total amount spent by the state on government administration given in millions.

The government administration expenditures percentage is calculated as the amount spent on government administration divided by total government expenditures. Government administration expenditures per capita is calculated as the amount spent on government administration divided by the state population in the given year.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, “Expenditures comprise all amounts of money paid out by a government during its fiscal year, with some exceptions. Statistics on state government finance include the measurement of expenditures by character (e.g., current operations, capital outlay, intergovernmental expenditures, and so on) and function (e.g., education, health, public welfare, natural resources, and so on). Expenditure does not include a government's payment of its debt, or purchases of investment securities, loans it has granted, agency or private trust transactions, nor correcting transactions” (State Government Finances Methodology).

According to the U.S. Bureau of the Census Government Finance and Employment Classification Manual (Ch. 5, pp. 29-34), "financial administration expenditures are expenditures related to officials and central staff agencies concerned with tax assessment and collection, accounting, auditing, budgeting, purchasing, custody of funds, and other finance activities. Judicial and legal expenditures consist of any activities associated with courts, legal services, and legal counseling of indigent or other needy persons. The federal and state legislative group comprises legislative bodies and related activities involved in the making, enacting, and repeal of law. Central staff services are costs associated with government executive, administrative, and staff service agencies other than financial, judicial, legal, and Federal or state legislative activities. The last group of general public buildings includes construction, equipping, maintenance, and operation of general public buildings not related to specific functions or agencies."  


IRS Migration: The Biggest Losers

IRS Migration of Adjusted Gross Income for 2021
The biggest losers: New Jersey, Massachusetts, Illinois, New York and California.

IRS Migration of Adjusted Gross Income data reflects the net amount of taxable income a state gains or loses due to interstate migration. The amounts given here are derived by calculating the difference between the adjusted gross income (AGI) associated with taxpayers entering the state and the AGI associated with taxpayers leaving the state. 


State and Local Sales Tax Rates

The Sales Tax Rate calculated and published by the Tax Foundation is the estimated combined rate of state and local sales tax. The average local sales tax rate for the state is calculated by using population-weights. The average local sales tax rate can be added to the state's sales tax rate to provide a general estimate of the total sales tax faced by consumers within the state. 



Unfunded Pension Benefits

"Data-Z is a project of Truth in Accounting that extends TIA’s core capabilities by surrounding our data and analysis with tools and external data for context.  The site is intended to enable citizens, the press, legislators, and staff think tanks, and financial analysts to better understand their governments’ financial and economic conditions. Site users are able to select relevant data and perform their own analysis, enabling them to make informed decisions about alternatives to address state fiscal issues. You can make your own chart at Data-Z.READ MORE

Corporate taxes and Individual income taxes raised by the federal government versus the total expenses of the federal government

This week's chart looks at the corporate taxes and individual income taxes raised by the federal government versus the total expenses of the federal government between 2010 and 2021. Come to your own conclusion with this data and do some research on your own at  READ MORE

Student Loan Debt By State

"President Biden has proposed the cancellation of federal student debt across the country. Students from every state accumulate debt, as indicated by the Data-Z chart below; on average, students in Utah graduate from their undergraduate studies with a debt of $18,344, which is the least amount of all states. The four other states with the lowest average student debt are New Mexico with $20,868, California with $21,125, Nevada with $21,257, and Wyoming with $23,510. 

As indicated in the chart below, on average undergraduate students from New Hampshire graduate with $39,928 in student debt, $21,584 more than Utah graduates. The other states with the highest student debt average are Delaware with $39,705, Pennsylvania with $39,375, Rhode Island with $36,791, and Connecticut with $35,853.

I ask the reader why the student debt *average would be so different between states.
Are students in some states adverse to accumulating debt?
Do some states finance college tuition more than other states?
Are colleges and universities more expensive in states with higher student debt averages?

With the 50-state student debt average of $29,096, why do Delaware and New Hampshire students, on average, graduate with more than $10,000 of student debt than the average student throughout the country?

Review the chart below to determine how much student debt undergraduates
in your state are accumulating on average. 

*These amounts represent the estimated averages of the total debt incurred by graduates of undergraduate colleges and universities at graduation, as reported by The Institute for College Access & Success (TICAS) as of 2020."  READ MORE  READ MORE

Student Loans

Recently, President Biden promised to cancel $10,000 of student loans for low- to middle-income borrowers. This would cancel approximately $300 billion of student loan debt that the federal government has financed. 

President Biden pointed out that the federal student loan debt “is a significant burden on America’s middle class.” But the amount owed by current and former students is reported as an asset on the federal government’s balance sheet. As indicated by the Data-z chart below, in 2008, the government reported a student loan asset of $135 billion, which has ballooned to $1.6 trillion.  READ MORE

Unfunded Social Security Promises (Current Participants)

"Between 2016 and 2021, the unfunded social security promises have increased. Maybe the government is banking on its right and ability to alter potential future benefits. Read more here.READ MORE

Net Operating Costs Versus Social Security 2010-2021

Between 2010 and 2021, the net operating costs of the federal government grew, as did the social security obligations. The federal government is not living within its means. Read more from us on Social Security hereREAD MORE

Unfunded Benefits in Illinois

This week's chart is based on the first story in this email, Sheila's op-ed on the importance of citizens being informed. In 1994, Illinois Gov. Jim Edgar led a bipartisan pension bill to solve the state’s $15 billion pension deficit. The plan was supposed to resolve the deficit within 50 years. The problem is the plan doesn’t work. As indicated by the chart below, using this plan the state's pension debt has more than doubled since 2010 to $156 billion as of June 30, 2020. The state’s latest bond offering document emphasizes, “The State’s contributions to the Retirement Systems, while in conformity with State law, have been less than the contributions necessary to fully fund the Retirements Systems as calculated by the actuaries of the Retirement Systems.” Read the full story here.  READ MORE

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