The Alaska Citizen's Guide to the Budget


1.2.1 Net General Fund Unrestricted Revenues
$ 1.930 billion in 2002

For FY 2002 the budget makers anticipated $1.930 billion would be collected in taxes and other revenues that would go into the General Fund. (Technically this is known as "Unrestricted General Purpose Revenue.") This is the fund that holds revenues not dedicated or designated for a particular purpose and from which the general expenses of running state government are paid. About half of the operating budget, but less than 10% of the capital budget, is funded out of the general fund. General fund revenues come mostly from oil, with non-oil revenues contributing less than 20% of the annual call on the fund.

In recent years the annual call on the general fund to pay the general expenses of government has exceeded general fund revenues. The shortfall, known as the Fiscal Gap, has been made up by taking money from a state savings account, the Constitutional Budget Reserve (CBR) account. This is not a permament solution to the shortfall because the CBR is running out of money.

Because most general fund revenues come from petroleum, the estimated revenues used to make the budget can turn out to be off by several hundred million dollars by the time the fiscal year ends due to an upward or downward shift in the price of oil. A rule of thumb (in 2002) is that an increase in the price of oil by $1 that lasts for the entire year will increase revenues by $65 million. (As an example of this volatility, in the spring of 2002, toward the end of FY 2002, the estimate of general fund revenues had fallen to $1.623 billion from $1.930 billion from a year earlier.)

General Fund Unrestricted Revenues, collected and reported by the Department of Revenue, goes through a series of minor accounting adjustments before it gets reported in the budget as Unrestricted General Purpose Revenue. These involve both the addition (by transfer) of some revenues from other funds and the subtraction of some revenues paid to other funds.

General Fund Revenues Anticipated for FY 2002 (billion $)

Total $ 1.930
General Fund Oil Revenues $ 1.597
General Fund Non-Oil Revenues $ .334
Source: Legislative Finance, Summary of Appropriations , the FY01 Session.

 

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Page updated November 13, 2002

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