North Dakota neighbors basking in budget surplus, while we face deficit bigger than its whole budget

While we’re agonizing about the budget deficit in the Gopher State, our neighbors in North Dakota are planning for budget reserves of at least $800 million by 2011, even after spending millions of dollars more on education, tax cuts and infrastructure improvements, according to the Fargo Forum.

Of course, their state budget is much lower than Minnesota’s budget: Gov. John Hoeven’s proposed 2009-11 budget proposes spending $3.1 billion in general funds, which are made up largely of various taxes. Minnesota’s projected deficit alone is way more than that.

North Dakota’s boom is attributed to several factors, including the oil boom, high farm commodity prices and strong growth in exports. Much of budget surplus is from oil revenue collected by the state, which now is the fifth-largest oil-producing state.

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