There are two important numbers for the state budget. The first is general fund spending. For the current two-year budget general fund spending is expected to be $39.587 billion - or just under $20 billion per year. The general fund budget numbers are the numbers one is most likely to find frequently referenced in the media and news stories. numbers. The general fund is the largest state fund where most state taxes are deposited and most state spending for major budget areas occurs. State forecasts and resulting projections of deficits or surpluses focus on the state general fund.
However, this does not represent total state spending. For the current budget period total state spending is expected to be $71.289 billion - or about $35.6 billion a year The general fund accounts for just over for just over 55 percent of total state spending. Other state funds, dedicated for specific purposes, as well as federal funding received by the state make up the additional spending. State budget documents for a given area of agency generally display total funding broken into categories: general fund, other state funds, and federal.
You can find more information on the current state budget on the budget division web pages under Operating Budget, Current Budget.
The inventory of state agencies, programs, and activities is a good starting point. This information, prepared with the biennial budget, provides descriptive information on the nature, purpose and performance of state programs and activities. The information normally includes a link to an individual agency's website - along with a contact for additional information.
Income, sales, corporate income, and the statewide property tax are the four largest sources of general fund revenues. The composition of revenue sources and the growth rate of each of the sources is fundamental to understanding and managing state finances. In general, a diverse revenue system with broad-based taxes is more stable, more likely to align with economic activity, and likely to be less volatile.
It is a benefit that both income and sales tax contribute more than 75 percent. Compared to 2005 however, Minnesota has become more reliant on those two revenue sources.
The rate at which state revenues are likely to grow is important to understanding the state budget and state finances. It determines not only the stability of Minnesota's revenue structure, but forecasting the long-term trend of revenue growth provides an important tool when matched against future projected growth in spending.
Here are some state payroll facts: