State Auditor Says Budget is Stable, But Iowa Still Faces Challenges

IOWA  --  State Auditor Mary Mosiman released her assessment of the state's finances on Monday and acknowledges the state faces some challenges.

She says the budget is stable, but that lawmakers should think about the future in order to keep it that way.

Mosiman says the state is spending less than it takes in. She was happy to report that one-time funding for ongoing expenditures has nearly been eliminated, and multi-year accelerating financial commitments have expired.

However, she did say challenges lie ahead, including doing a better job of predicting revenue streams. Revenues have not come in as predicted. The state made $118 million in cuts, used $130 million in state reserves, and is now using $50 million dollars from the emergency funds. Cash flow problems are a concern.

"We need to manage our revenues, which is why I do talk about multiple things including tax credits and abatements, understanding our revenue stream, predicting it, and managing it is key to long-term sustainability. So when we run into situations like the Department of Revenue and tax returns, that's all part of our cash flow, so we need to make sure we are understanding our revenue stream and managing it," said Mosiman.

She also says tax credits and abatements need to be accurately evaluated to make sure the state is getting a good return on its investments.