Report: Wyoming ranks 3rd for fiscal health and obtains an “A” grade

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By Robert Davis, The Central Square

Wyoming has earned an “A” rating for its fiscal health, according to a new report from tax watchdog group Truth in Accounting (TIA).

The state has a tax surplus of more than $ 19,500 per resident, according to TIA, which ranks third in the nation’s highest surpluses behind Alaska and North Dakota, respectively. Only 11 states have enough money to pay all of their tax obligations, according to the report.

“The majority of states were not financially prepared for a crisis,” TIA CEO Sheila Weinberg said in a statement. “When states can’t pay their bills, taxpayers are taken care of. “

Wyoming, however, “had more than enough resources available,” according to the report, which noted that the state’s $ 3.8 billion surplus is due in part to the revenue it receives from it. energy industry.

The average tax burden across the country was over $ 9,300 last year, which is an increase of more than 20% from 2019, according to the report.

The TIA calculated state tax burdens by dividing the funds each state needs to pay its bills by the estimated number of state taxpayers. Likewise, tax surpluses were calculated by dividing the total amount of money remaining after all of a state’s bills have been paid by the number of taxpayers.

The report says a majority of the state’s debt comes from pension plans such as pensions and retiree health care benefits. States set aside an average of $ 0.64 to fund retirement promises and $ 0.08 to fund retiree health care last year, according to the TIA.

Once the pandemic hit, the funding for these bonds was shattered, leaving most states with far less money to pay for their growing obligations.

Wyoming’s pension system has generated a return of over 27% with more than $ 9.6 billion in assets and just $ 375 million in private debt, according to the Wyoming Pension System Financial Outlook report .

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