Louisiana has reserves equaling 4.4% of its yearly general fund spending

Louisiana could cover 4.4 percent of its annual general fund expenditures using only its rainy-day fund, the 42nd highest rate among the 50 states, according to a new study from the Tax Foundation.

The states that rely most heavily on volatile revenue from oil, gas and other extracted natural resources – Wyoming, Alaska, North Dakota and New Mexico – had the most robust revenue stabilization funds, according to the analysis. Such states often need to sock away a larger amount of excess revenues during prosperous years to fund state operations when oil and gas prices drop, the study reported.

The rainy-day funds allow states to prepare for inevitable downturns in the economy, according to the Tax Foundation. The funds are now a standard component in states’ fiscal toolkits, the analysis said.

What’s the Status of Your State’s Rainy-Day Fund?

Rank State Rainy-Day Balance as % of General Fund Spending
1 Wyoming 109.0%
2 Alaska 52.6%
3 North Dakota 30.0%
4 New Mexico 26.8%
5 West Virginia 16.9%
6 Connecticut 15.3%
7 Vermont 13.7%
8 Oregon 13.5%
9 California 13.0%
10 Texas 12.9%
11 Oklahoma 11.5%
12 South Dakota 11.1%
13 Michigan 11.0%
13 Nebraska 11.0%
15 Georgia 10.6%
16 Minnesota 10.4%
17 Iowa 10.3%
18 Alabama 10.1%
19 Utah 9.9%
20 Idaho 9.5%
20 Massachusetts 9.5%
22 Nevada 8.9%
23 Arizona 8.8%
24 Indiana 8.6%
25 Mississippi 8.1%
26 Washington 8.0%
27 Colorado 7.9%
28 Maine 7.8%
29 Ohio 7.7%
30 New Hampshire 7.4%
31 Tennessee 7.0%
32 South Carolina 6.6%
33 Missouri 6.3%
34 Maryland 6.2%
35 Virginia 6.0%
36 Delaware 5.4%
37 North Carolina 5.3%
38 Rhode Island 5.2%
39 Hawaii 4.8%
40 Florida 4.6%
40 Montana 4.6%
42 Louisiana 4.4%
43 Wisconsin 3.6%
44 New York 3.2%
45 Arkansas 2.7%
46 Kentucky 2.6%
47 New Jersey 1.0%
47 Pennsylvania 1.0%
49 Illinois 0.0%
49 Kansas 0.0%

Source: Tax Foundation

Note: The percentages for Michigan, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Wisconsin are from 2019, while the Georgia numbers come from 2018. The study’s calculations for the other states are based on 2020 data.

This article was first published by The Center Square.

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