October 18, 2019
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Maine is among the states most reliant on federal funding

Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Troy R. Bennett | BDN

A new analysis of states’ dependence on the federal government funding shows Maine near the top of the list.

The analysis by Tax Foundation, a Washington D.C. think tank, is based on a really simple calculation using Census data: take the money that comes in from the federal government (known as “intragovernmental revenue”) and divide by the state’s “general revenue,” meaning how much it brings it through taxes.

The result: Federal aid to Maine represented 35.3 percent of the state’s general revenue in 2013, according to Tax Foundation — the 10th highest in the nation.

Now, this is arguably an overly simplistic way to calculate a state’s dependence on the federal government. As the Washington Post notes, there are other ways that D.C. kicks in to help states, like paying salaries and doling out grants.

Still, it puts into context generally how much each state relies on federal help to pay for services — which is especially interesting when you consider the politics of some.

The Washington Post noted a loose trend that emerged from this data: some of the most conservative states were most dependent on D.C.

Mississippi and Louisiana, the two most conservative states, according to Gallup, top the list. And even though Mainers don’t consider themselves especially conservative or liberal, according to that poll, Gov. Paul LePage is no fan of Washington D.C. and has declined funding for everything from education to colon cancer screening.

Featured article image by Troy R. Bennett, BDN. 



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