For the fourth year in a row, most states are facing substantial budget deficits. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the budget gaps total $112 billion for fiscal year 2012, which starts July 1 in most states. Only six states do not project having a shortfall to contend with.
The situation has governors and state legislatures struggling, yet again, to balance their budgets. Texas is currently debating $10 billion in education-related cuts. California, meanwhile, is planning to extend tax increases implemented under former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, but only if voters approve. Other states are relying on budgetary sleight of hand to alleviate their troubles. For example, in Kentucky, Governor Steve Beshear has sought support for a plan to move Medicaid funds pegged for next year to the current year.
Here is a chart from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, published by AARP, that shows the deficits in US states, which directly relates to increased taxation and budget crisis. A major reason why many folks are considering Arkansas over other states in the US for investing and lifestyle change. Arkansas is a fiscally conservative state that consistently makes the list of the few states that maintain a balanced budget.
Projected FY 2012
Deficit as percent
|District of Columbia||$322||5.20||40|
|New Hampshire||not reported||NA||NA|
|States Total||$111.9 billion||17.60|
Source: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
Note: In case of ties, the “win” went to the state with the higher deficit in raw dollars, except for the six states with no deficits — these were ranked in alphabetical order. All figures represent estimates and are subject to change. NA means not applicable.