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The Worst 2011 State Budget Gaps

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 (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, increas
Source: National Conference of State Legislatures | Photo: AP

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

15. Rhode Island

Estimated FY 2011 Gap: $429 million Percent of General Fund: 15.1% 2011 Revenue Outlook: Concerned Decreased Revenues Expected in 2011: No
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Estimated FY 2011 Gap: $429 million
Percent of General Fund: 15.1%

2011 Revenue Outlook: Concerned
Decreased Revenues Expected in 2011: No

14. New York

Estimated FY 2011 Gap: $9.02 billion Percent of General Fund: 15.3% 2011 Revenue Outlook: Concerned Decreased Revenues Expected in 2011: No
Photo: Altrendo Travel | Getty Images

Estimated FY 2011 Gap: $9.02 billion
Percent of General Fund: 15.3%

2011 Revenue Outlook: Concerned
Decreased Revenues Expected in 2011: No

13. Oklahoma

Estimated FY 2011 Gap: $793 million Percent of General Fund: 15.4% 2011 Revenue Outlook: Concerned Decreased Revenues Expected in 2011: No
Photo: Richard Cummins | Getty Images

Estimated FY 2011 Gap: $793 million
Percent of General Fund: 15.4%

2011 Revenue Outlook: Concerned
Decreased Revenues Expected in 2011: No

12. Utah

Estimated FY 2011 Gap: $690 million Percent of General Fund: 15.8% 2011 Revenue Outlook: Concerned Decreased Revenues Expected in 2011: No
Photo: Jumper | Photodisc | Getty Images

Estimated FY 2011 Gap: $690 million
Percent of General Fund: 15.8%

2011 Revenue Outlook: Concerned
Decreased Revenues Expected in 2011: No

11. Maryland

Estimated FY 2011 Gap: $2.27 billion Percent of General Fund: 17.2% 2011 Revenue Outlook: Concerned Decreased Revenues Expected in 2011: No
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Estimated FY 2011 Gap: $2.27 billion
Percent of General Fund: 17.2%

2011 Revenue Outlook: Concerned
Decreased Revenues Expected in 2011: No

10. Iowa

Estimated FY 2011 Gap: $1.07 billionPercent of General Fund: 19.6%2011 Revenue Outlook: ConcernedDecreased Revenues Expected in 2011: No
Photo: Michael Snell | Robert Harding World Imagery | Getty Images

Estimated FY 2011 Gap: $1.07 billion
Percent of General Fund: 19.6%

2011 Revenue Outlook: Concerned
Decreased Revenues Expected in 2011: No

9. Maine

Estimated FY 2011 Gap: $765 million Percent of General Fund: 21.6% 2011 Revenue Outlook: Stable Decreased Revenues Expected in 2011: No
Photo: Josiah Davidson | Photographer's Choice | Getty Images

Estimated FY 2011 Gap: $765 million
Percent of General Fund: 21.6%

2011 Revenue Outlook: Stable
Decreased Revenues Expected in 2011: No

8. Vermont

Estimated FY 2011 Gap: $267 million Percent of General Fund: 22% 2011 Revenue Outlook: Concerned Decreased Revenues Expected in 2011: No

Estimated FY 2011 Gap: $267 million
Percent of General Fund: 22%

2011 Revenue Outlook: Concerned
Decreased Revenues Expected in 2011: No

7. Hawaii

Estimated FY 2011 Gap: $1.22 billionPercent of General Fund: 22.7%2011 Revenue Outlook: ConcernedDecreased Revenues Expected in 2011: No
Photo: VisionsofAmerica/Joe Sohm | Getty Images

Estimated FY 2011 Gap: $1.22 billion
Percent of General Fund: 22.7%

2011 Revenue Outlook: Concerned
Decreased Revenues Expected in 2011: No

6. Minnesota

Estimated FY 2011 Gap: $4.77 billion Percent of General Fund: 25.5% 2011 Revenue Outlook: Concerned Decreased Revenues Expected in 2011: No
Photo: Donovan Reese | Photodisc | Getty Images

Estimated FY 2011 Gap: $4.77 billion
Percent of General Fund: 25.5%

2011 Revenue Outlook: Concerned
Decreased Revenues Expected in 2011: No

5. Arizona

Estimated FY 2011 Gap: $3 billion Percent of General Fund: 30% 2011 Revenue Outlook: Concerned Decreased Revenues Expected in 2011: No

Estimated FY 2011 Gap: $3 billion
Percent of General Fund: 30%

2011 Revenue Outlook: Concerned
Decreased Revenues Expected in 2011: No

4. New Jersey

Estimated FY 2011 Gap: $11 billion Percent of General Fund: 33% 2011 Revenue Outlook: Concerned Decreased Revenues Expected in 2011: No
Photo: VisionsofAmerica | Joe Sohm | Photodisc | Getty Images

Estimated FY 2011 Gap: $11 billion
Percent of General Fund: 33%

2011 Revenue Outlook: Concerned
Decreased Revenues Expected in 2011: No

3. Massachusetts

Estimated FY 2011 Gap: $2.75 billionPercent of General Fund: 40.8%2011 Revenue Outlook: ConcernedDecreased Revenues Expected in 2011: No
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Estimated FY 2011 Gap: $2.75 billion
Percent of General Fund: 40.8%

2011 Revenue Outlook: Concerned
Decreased Revenues Expected in 2011: No

1. (Tied) Nevada

Estimated FY 2011 Gap: $1.81 billion Percent of General Fund: 45% 2011 Revenue Outlook: Concerned Decreased Revenues Expected in 2011: No
Photo: VisionsofAmerica/Joe Sohm | Getty Images

Estimated FY 2011 Gap: $1.81 billion
Percent of General Fund: 45%

2011 Revenue Outlook: Concerned
Decreased Revenues Expected in 2011: No

1. (Tied) Illinois

Estimated FY 2011 Gap: $12.5 billion Percent of General Fund: 45% 2011 Revenue Outlook: Pessimistic Decreased Revenues Expected in 2011: Yes
Photo: VisionsodAmerica | Joe Sohm | Photodisc | Getty Images

Estimated FY 2011 Gap: $12.5 billion
Percent of General Fund: 45%

2011 Revenue Outlook: Pessimistic
Decreased Revenues Expected in 2011: Yes