The Institute of Social & Economic Research

The Alaska Citizen's Guide to the Budget

Financial Assistance
provided by:

Fiscal Policy Council of Alaska

Comparisons
Budget History
General Fund
Appropriations
Operating Spending
Outlays
Jobs
Payroll
Budget Shifting

 

 

3. Budget History

3.3 Total State Outlays

Some people feel the trend in general fund spending does not adequately represent the growth in state spending because it ignores the growth in other parts of the budget. The U.S. Department of Commerce data showing the history of total state government outlays (appropriations that actually hit the street) provide one way to measure growth in total government spending over time; also see the next section on appropriations.

(See also the Comparison to the U.S. average.)

Total state government outlays as reported by the U.S. Department of Commerce have continued to grow. (What is included in outlays?)

Total Alaska State Government Outlays
(million $)

1990

$ 4,284
1991
$ 4,493
1992
$ 4,788
1993
$ 4,934
1994
$ 5,256
1995
$ 5,047
1996
$ 5,105
1997
$ 5,160
1998
$ 5,230
1999
$5,572
Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Governmental Finances.

If we net out the Permanent Fund dividend, which the federal government includes in its definition of state government outlays, we see that there was a break in the growth of state outlays in 1994 and that they have been flat since that time.

Alaska State Government Outlays—
Net of PF Dividend

(million $)
FY
Outlays
Outlays Net Dividend
1990
$ 4,284
$3,797
1991
$4,493
$4,004
1992
$4,788
$4,300
1993
$4,934
$4,402
1994
$5,256
$4,701
1995
$5,047
$4,482
1996
$5,105
$4,462
1997
$5,160
$4,413
1998
$5,230
$4,337
1999
$5,572
$4,599
Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Governmental Finances, and ISER.

Furthermore, if we subtract federal grants from outlays, we see that "Outlays from Own Sources" has been growing more slowly than total outlays.

Alaska State Government Outlays from Own Sources—
Net of PF Dividend & Federal Grants

(million $)

FY
Outlays
Outlays from Own Sources (Net Dividend and Federal Grants)
1990
$4,284
$3,174
1991
$4,493
$3,297
1992
$4,788
$3,427
1993
$4,934
$3,497
1994
$5,256
$3,781
1995
$5,047
$3,502
1996
$5,105
$3,445
1997
$5,160
$3,371
1998
$5,230
$3,257
1999
$5,572
$3,658
Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Governmental Finances, and ISER.

If outlays in early years are converted to 1998 purchasing power (real 1998 $), we see that outlays excluding the Permanent Fund dividend have been trending downward, as have been outlays from own sources (net of the dividend and outlays financed by federal grants).

Alaska State Government Outlays
(millions of 1998 $)
FY
Outlays from Own Sources (Net Dividend and Federal Grants)
Outlays Net Dividend
Outlays

Anchorage Consumer Price Index

1990
$ 3,922
$4,692
$5,294
118.4
1991
$ 3,897
$4,731
$5,310
123.8
1992
$ 4,031
$4,915
$5,473
128
1993
$ 3,876
$4,879
$5,468
132
1994
$ 4,104
$5,102
$5,705
134.8
1995
$ 3,699
$4,735
$5,332
138.5
1996
$ 3,539
$4,584
$5,244
142.4
1997
$ 3,413
$4,468
$5,225
144.5
1998
$ 3,257
$4,337
$5,230
146.3
1999 $3,618 $4,549 $5,512 147.9
Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Governmental Finances, and ISER.

The trend in real per capita outlays has been clearly downward. Even including the Permanent Fund dividend, which has been increasing, real per capita outlays have been falling since the late 1980s. Real per capita outlays are now at the same level they were in about 1979.

Alaska State Government
Per Capita Outlays
(1998 $)
 
Outlays from Own Sources (Net Dividend and Federal Grants)
Outlays Net Dividend
Outlays
Anchorage Consumer Price Index
1990
$7,131
$8,530
$9,625
118.4
1991
$7,045
$8,554
$9,600
123.8
1992
$7,084
$8,636
$9,617
128
1993
$6,607
$8,316
$9,321
132
1994
$6,876
$8,548
$9,558
134.8
1995
$6,158
$7,881
$8,875
138.5
1996
$5,882
$7,619
$8,717
142.4
1997
$5,641
$7,385
$8,635
144.5
1998
$5,305
$7,064
$8,518
146.3
1999 $5,836 $7,337 $8,890 147.9
Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Governmental Finances, and ISER.

State outlays as a share of personal income have been decreasing, although they are still much higher than at any time before the "petrodollar" boom. One line of reasoning suggests that there should be a stable relationship between public spending and personal income, reflecting a balance between public and private consumption.

Outlays as a Percentage of Personal Income
 
Outlays from Own Sources (Net Dividend and Federal Grants)
Outlays Net Dividend
Outlays
Personal Income (million $)
1990
25%
30%
34%
$12,566
1991
25%
30%
34%
$13,243
1992
25%
31%
34%
$14,039
1993
24%
30%
33%
$14,789
1994
25%
31%
35%
$15,168
1995
23%
29%
33%
$15,513
1996
22%
28%
32%
$15,762
1997
21%
27%
31%
$16,433
1998
19%
25%
31%
$17,124
1999 21% 26% 32% $17,670
Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Governmental Finances and Bureau of Economic Analysis, and ISER.

State outlays have increased as a share of gross state product—value added. We can think of gross product as the tax base for the state.

Outlays as a Percentage of Gross State Product
FY
Outlays from Own Sources (Net Dividend and Federal Grants)
Outlays Net Dividend
Outlays
Gross State Product (million $)
1990
12%
15%
17%
$ 25,787
1991
14%
17%
19%
$23,947
1992
14%
17%
19%
$24,609
1993
15%
19%
21%
$23,435
1994
16%
20%
22%
$23,622
1995
14%
18%
20%
$24,790
1996
13%
17%
20%
$26,084
1997
13%
17%
20%
$25,581
1998
15%
20%
24%
$22,051
1999 - - - -
Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Governmental Finances, and ISER.

Total public (state + local government) outlays as reported by the U.S. Department of Commerce have been increasing more slowly than state-only outlays because local government budgets have been growing more slowly than the state's. Tables reporting the combined outlays will be added to this section in the near future.

Site Map
 
Top ^

Next >

Fiscal Policy Papers

About ISER


Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage
Mailing Address: 3211 Providence Drive, Anchorage, Alaska 99508
Physical Address: 4500 Diplomacy Drive, Suite 501, Anchorage, Alaska
 
(907)786-7710

Page Updated April 16, 2003

Other Resources
Send a Comment
 © Copyright 2011, Institute of Social and Economic Research