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Worst Expected State Budget Gaps

The economic crisis has taken a toll on nearly every corner of the American economy, including the financial position of most US states. With shrinking tax revenues, some states are considering drastic measures to balance their budget.

In the most recent state budget report from the National Conference of State Legislatures(NCSL), the highest estimates for the 2011 budget gap demonstrate how bad the situation could get in the coming year. In order to close their 2010 budget gaps, most US states have been forced to cut spending, increase taxes, sell bonds or look to the federal government for help. But if the nation's economic situation doesn't dramatically improve, states may face even more daunting gaps in their 2011 budgets.

The NCSL highlights that although spending overruns are pinching state budgets, the principle cause of budget gaps is a steep drop-off in state revenues arising from lower-than-expected returns from income and sales taxes. States with the worst positions are ranked here according to the expected budget gap as a percentage of individual state general funds.

So, which states are potentially facing the worst 2010 budget gaps? Here are the 15 that are expecting the toughest road ahead.

By Paul Toscano
Posted 15 April 2010

Source: National Conference of State Legislatures | Photo: AP