Five takeaways from the release of the state's comprehensive financial report

March 8, 2018

The office of Mississippi Auditor Stacey Pickering released the state's annual comprehensive financial report for 2017 on Wednesday. 

 

Here are five takeaways from the report:

 

 

State tax revenues on the uptick

Most state tax revenues have increased in the last 10 years, according to the report. Sales and use tax revenues have increased from $3.17 billion in 2008 to $3.39 billion last year.

 

Gasoline tax revenues have increased the last four years, but haven't reached the decade-high mark of $438 million in 2008.

 

Since 2008, income tax revenue has increased from $1.503 billion to $1.721 billion in 2017. During that same time, corporate franchise (which is being phased out) and corporate income tax revenues have increased from slightly more than $500 million in 2007 to more than $569 million in 2017.

 

 

Liabilities now top $11.1 billion

State government has built up $11.1 billion in liabilities, with the majority being in noncurrent liabilities (that don't have to be paid back immediately) such as the net pension liability for the Public Employees' Retirement System of Mississippi ($3.35 billion) and $5.15 billion for bonds.

 

Of the bond debt, $323 million is for business incentives, $182 million for major economic impact projects such as Nissan and Continental tire, while $970 million was borrowed for capital improvements. 

 

 

Federal dollars still huge

Mississippi's budgetary contribution from the federal government remains, by percentage, the largest of the 50 states. In 2017, that added up to $7.499 billion, more than the state's general fund budget of $5.9 billion in fiscal 2019, which starts June 1.

 

 

Government is biggest employer

More than 20 percent of all jobholders in the state work for either the federal, state or local government, while 11.9 percent work in manufacturing and 11.6 percent work in retail.

 

The amount of manufacturing jobs statewide has decreased from 169,500 in 2007 to 142,900 in 2017, an 18.6 percent decrease.

 

The state government workforce has shrunk from 33,347 in 2007 to 28,848 in 2017.

 

Falling enrollment

Mississippi's K-12 enrollment has dropped 2.26 percent since 2007, with more than 482,000 enrolled in public schools versus more than 493,000 in 2007.

 

Private school enrollment has also declined, shrinking from 57,930 in 2005 to 43,580 in 2015, the last year data was available.

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