Illinois 2nd Worst State In Total Reserves, Equaling Only About $4 Million Study Finds

ILLINOIS — Illinois could cover just over 0 percent of its annual general fund expenditures using only its rainy-day fund, the lowest 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.

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SOURCE: https://taxfoundation.org/2020-state-rainy-day-funds/

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. Kansas and Illinois have the least in their rainy day funds—Illinois with very little (only $4 million), and Kansas with nothing at all.

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

Due to data availability, Michigan, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin numbers are from 2019, and numbers for Georgia are from 2018. All other info is from 2020.

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