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The ongoing decline in tax receipts has worsened state budget problems. At least 48 states addressed or are facing shortfalls in their budgets for the upcoming year totaling $166 billion or 24 percent of state budgets. New data show a majority of states expect shortfalls in 2011 as well. Aggregate gaps through 2011 likely will exceed $350 billion.
Most states start their fiscal year July 1 and have either adopted budgets for fiscal year 2010 or will do so shortly. In doing so, they have used federal stimulus dollars, cut spending, raised revenues, and drawn down reserves.
Indications are that the budgets taking effect July 1 will not long be in balance because of continually eroding revenues. As of the last week in June, two-thirds of the states have adopted budgets for 2010 and already 12 of these states face new shortfalls totaling $23 billion before the fiscal year has even officially begun. Combining those new shortfalls with the fiscal year 2010 gaps already addressed, and those faced by states that have not yet completed their budgets, the total amount for fiscal year 2010 is at least $166 billion.
The states’ fiscal problems are continuing into the next year and likely beyond. At least 29 states have looked ahead and anticipate deficits for fiscal year 2011. These shortfalls total $38 billion — 8 percent of budgets — for the 21 states that have estimated the size of these gaps by comparing expected spending with estimated revenues, and are likely to grow as more states prepare projections and revenues continue to deteriorate.
It's getting worse.
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