The state treasurer’s office handled more than $21.5 billion in receipts in the last state fiscal year. That $21.5 billion is a combination of taxes paid to the state, along with payments to Iowa from the federal government, to run programs like Medicaid.
The state treasurer paid out $20.5 billion of that to cover state government operations, including construction of new state buildings, plus new roads and bridges. State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald says the state made 6.5 million electronic payments last year. That includes paychecks to state employees as well as payments for goods and services.
“We had, as of June 30, had $26 billion under custody which is of course IPERS and all the state funds and such,” Fitzgerald says. “And if you asked about that today, it’s up probably $3 billion or $4 billion from that, because IPERS has done so well.”
IPERS is the acronym for the Iowa Public Employees Retirement System. Fitzgerald also manages the College Savings Iowa program, which has over $4.2 billion in assets.
As for the other side of the ledger, the state has $920 million in outstanding debts. Those debts are in the form of bonds that are being off in yearly increments. Iowa is one of only nine states with the top “Triple A” bond rating from all three rating agencies.
“We’re a very low debt state. Our pension funds aren’t perfect, but they’re solid,” Fitzgerald says. “We have a surplus. Reserve funds are full, so we’re in solid shape — if the farm economy will hold up.”
Fitzgerald says dropping corn prices cause concern that farm income will drop significantly in the coming year and depress state tax collections.