According to Treasurer Kelly Schmidt’s office, the latest deposit into the North Dakota Legacy Fund is a record. The nearly $112 million deposit beat the previous record set in July of last year of nearly $92.4 million.
So what was the reason for the record deposit? For the first time this year funds intended for the state’s Strategic Investment and Improvements Fund are being diverted to the Legacy Fund. The Legislature is allowed to deposit any funds they wish into the Legacy Fund, so they’ve done so. Under the law, once the SIIF reaches a $300 million per biennium cap, additional revenues for that fund are deposited into the Legacy Fund.
So of the nearly $112 million deposited into the Legacy Fund for June, nearly $23 million was money headed for the SIIF.
The only previous deposits made from the SIIF was in FY2013 when $147,690,438.81 million was transferred.
Here’s a graph showing the month deposits into the Legacy Fund since its creation. As you can see, the trend is up:
This graph shows the cumulative balance:
This paints a picture of a state with more money than it knows what to do with, doesn’t it? The state has a lot of money socked away – billions upon billions in a myriad of funds you can read about on the Treasurer’s website – and you have to wonder what good it is doing the taxpayers there.
It’s one thing for the state to have some reserves, hedging against dramatic shifts in our commodity-based economy, but at what point do we have enough reserves? At what point is this money going to do more good back in the pockets of the taxpayers?
Here’s the full release from Treasurer Schmidt’s office: