Despite High Level Of Per-Capita Debt, North Dakota Ranks Second In National Budget Study

Written by Plains Daily Report. Posted in Plains Daily Exclusives

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Published on October 24, 2011 with 1 Comment

BISMARCK, NDA new report from State Budget Solutions says North Dakota ranks second in the nation behind only Vermont in a measure of state deficits, but the high ranking is due more to the state’s explosive economic growth than a low level of debt.

In debt per capita, North Dakota ranks 47th in the nation with $3,181 in debt and liabilities per citizen. Only New Jersey, Hawaii and Connecticut had more debt and liabilities per citizen. According to the report, the state also faces over $4.2 billion in unfunded pension liabilities.

But in other areas the state’s economic health is a clear advantage. Thanks to steadily increasing tax revenues, North Dakota is one of only 4 states in the study with no budget gap for 2011. The state also has no debt obligations for unemployment funds, something many states have accumulated thanks to high levels of joblessness and stagnant economies.

Overall the state has over $6.2 billion in debt and unfunded liabilities from pensions, which wins it second place in a ranking of all states.

According to numbers from the conservative North Dakota Policy Council, North Dakota’s budget has grown 125% since the 2003 – 2005 biennium.

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  1. North Dakota’s “tax backed” debt of 4.26% of state GDP  is considerably larger than the 3.4% average of the 12 states with a AAA credit rating. North Dakota would have a AAA rating to make it a
    “bakers dozen” (13 states) if not for ten years of leadership from a governor with a “rich” banking heritage, and complicit local governments’ insatiable spending addiction resulting in North Dakota’s tax backed credit excesses. This is an important reason to vote to abolish property taxes before more of our homes are confiscated by government.

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