Arizona Permanent Land Endowment Trust Fund Hits Record

September 4, 2023

By Daniel Stefanski |

Arizona investments continue to be in good hands under the oversight of Republican State Treasurer, Kimberly Yee.

On Tuesday, Treasurer Yee announced that the Local Government Investment Pool earned $24.49 million in July, and that the Permanent Land Endowment Trust Fund (PLETF) soared to a record high of $7.99 billion the same month.

Yee unveiled the report at the August State Board of Investment meeting, which was open to the public via an online web service. According to a press release issued from her office, “the monthly meeting reports on Arizona’s investment activity, cash flow, future market conditions, and Arizona’s Education Savings Plan.”

The August 2023 report showed that the total assets under management were $5,886,428,849, and that earnings were up 241.51% year over year.

AZ Free News reached out to Treasurer Yee for comment, and the second-term official provided the following statements:

“I am the first Treasurer in Arizona’s history to meet regularly with local government leaders throughout Arizona’s fifteen counties to go over their record performing investments with our office. That’s why we’ve seen a 74% increase in local government assets under management during my administration. My office distributed a record-high of over $212.6 million to Local Government Investment Pool participants in FY 2023. This historic number of earnings surpasses the combined earnings of the last five fiscal years. Since I took office in January 2019, I have distributed record earnings of over $3 billion to local governments, state agencies and K-12 education, among other land endowment beneficiaries. This outstanding performance is fantastic news for Arizona taxpayers as our investment team continues to outperform benchmarks and receive record setting earnings, resulting in less direct local taxes for Arizonans.”

In the Arizona Treasury’s Education Endowment Report, not only did the PLETF hit a record high market value, but $424 million was to be distributed to K-12 education in Fiscal Year 2024. The Treasurer’s Office also revealed that the PLETF 10-year annualized total return approached 8%, which outperformed the average U.S. College and University endowments nine years in a row. According to the report, PLETF “is an endowment fund that the Arizona Treasurer deposits the land sales of Arizona into and invests the proceeds for education and other state beneficiaries, such as AZ K-12 education, AZ universities, AZ School for Deaf & Blind, AZ Pioneers’ Home, AZ State Hospital, and state prisons.”

The cumulative distributions for the PLETF over its history (since the 1990s) has been just under $4 billion ($3,823,070,913). When Yee took office in 2019, the market value of the PLETF appeared to be hovering around $6 billion.

Treasurer Yee’s Office also highlighted that “since taking office in January 2019, Arizona Treasurer Kimberly Yee has distributed record earnings of over $3 billion. This breaks down to $1.245 billion for the LGIP and State Agencies and $1.758 billion to beneficiaries of the PLETF as of June 30, 2023.

Daniel Stefanski is a reporter for AZ Free News. You can send him news tips using this link.

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