Governor Vilsack announces strong state revenues
9/13/2006 A strong economy and responsible budget management allows for additional resources for the Regents Universities, Senior Living Trust and replenishing the state’s reserve funds
DES MOINES – Governor Vilsack announced today a strong outlook for the state’s budget as the final quarter of fiscal year 2006 that ended June 30. Vilsack released the estimated numbers that make up the general fund balance sheet for fiscal year 2006 showing a budget surplus that reflects the growing strength of Iowa’s economy.
The state budget’s budget surplus is estimated to be $332.1 million. Nearly $50 million of the additional dollars will be used to restore funds borrowed from the Senior Living Trust, $2.8 million will be allocated to the Regents Universities, and an additional $160 million will be used to fund property tax credits for the current fiscal year.
The approximately $119.5 million remaining will be deposited into the state’s savings accounts, which will have a combined balance of $511.3 or 9.6 percent of total state revenues. The combined reserve funds are full when they reach 10 percent of revenues.
“We have consistently managed our budgets in a responsible way which is why we have substantial rainy day accounts and a near perfect bond rating,” said Vilsack. “While many states and the federal government struggle with managing their finances, we have lived within our budget, provided tax relief for eight consecutive years, and given Iowans the services they expect from state government. We have done all of this while continuing to plan for the future.”
Recent U.S. Census data shows the median income of Iowans grew 7.17 percent between 2004 and 2005, making the Iowa the 11th fastest growing state. Iowa’s median household income now exceeds the national average and ranks 21st amongst other states.
The state is also experiencing a period of record employment growth. According to Iowa Workforce Development, for the third straight month, Iowa’s nonfarm sector added new jobs, topping the previous all-time high set in June. Nonfarm employment increased to 1,510,600 during July, 2,500 more than June and 29,100 more than in July 2005.
“When we formally close the books on the 2006 fiscal year, we will have had another great year for job growth and a strong surge in state revenues,” said Vilsack. “The strength of our economy is a direct result of our investments in targeted industries and our educated, productive workforce. We have worked hard to change the landscape of Iowa’s economy and create new opportunities in every corner of our state. The fruits of those labors are being felt by Iowans in communities large and small.”
Final state budget figures for fiscal year 2006 will be available after October 9.