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January 8, 2009
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State spending rose last year, report says

An annual report found Nevada state government spending rose 4.5 percent and revenue dropped 2 percent during the fiscal year that ended June 30.

State spending rose to $7.5 billion, up from $7.2 billion in the previous 12-month budget cycle, according to the four-page Report to Our Citizens released Tuesday by state Controller Kim Wallin. State revenues dropped about $131 million during the July 1, 2007, to June 30, 2008, fiscal year.

The controller's office releases the report annually as snapshot of state revenue and spending.

Deputy Controller Mark Taylor said the numbers were not as dire as some might have expected because the economic slowdown was just beginning during the time studied.

"The recession was not as deep as now, and expenses were still strong, but revenues were starting to slow down," he said. "It shows the beginning of what we are experiencing now."

The report did not include most of nearly $1.5 billion in state spending cuts during the 2008 calendar year. About $300 million was cut during a special session just before the end of the fiscal year. Other cuts followed.

Taylor also noted the report included an increase in federal grants and revenue given to state government. Nearly $3 billion in federal funds were given to state programs during the fiscal year, an increase of $100 million from the previous fiscal year.

Federal grants and funds supplemented the state's two-year general fund budget of $6.8 billion.

Wallin noted in the report that the federal debt has risen to $10 trillion, up $4 trillion over the past eight years.

The state's share of that debt, if calculated on a per capita basis, would be $6.9 billion, or just about the total annual state revenue from all sources, the report said.

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The Nevada Appeal Updated Jan 8, 2009 03:37AM Published Jan 8, 2009 03:05AM Copyright 2009 The Nevada Appeal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.