Nevada Treasurer Kate Marshall issued a statement earlier this month in reaction to what she considered misreporting on the state’s debt burden.
“There have been several published reports this year that have erroneously reported on the debt burden faced by states, and specifically Nevada,” the treasurer said.
Marshall singled out reporting by CNN Money on a recent report by Meredith Whitney that said, “Today, debt service absorbs half of Nevada’s budget.”
“This statement is clearly false,” the treasurer’s office said.
Marshall said total general obligation debt service was 3.4% of Nevada’s $7.49 billion fiscal 2010 general fund budget. It added that non-self-supporting GO debt service equals 5.6% of its unrestricted general fund budget of $3.17 billion in fiscal 2010.
Even adding up the combination of the state’s annual debt service with contributions to its pension system and for health benefits, Marshall said it only comes to 7.6% of the general fund budget.
“The state of Nevada has used a fiscally conservative approach when issuing debt,” Marshall said. “All three major credit agencies have cited the state’s modest levels of debt and fiscally conservative budget and debt practices.”