state revenue

NASBO Fiscal Survey shows 14.5% growth in general fund revenues

The National Association of State Budget Officers’ (NASBO) Fall 2022 Fiscal Survey of States, released last month, reflects a more positive fiscal environment than last year and found that FY 2022 general fund spending grew a record breaking 18.3%, slightly higher than previous estimates, although when adjusted for inflation, spending grew at a rate of 9.6%. Alongside rising general fund expenditures, general fund revenue grew 14.5% to $1.17 trillion in FY 2022 (slightly lower than FY 2021’s 16.6% increase). Rainy day funds reached record highs, growing an additional 10.43% in FY 2022, from $121.8 to $134.5 billion, building off of FY 2021’s 58% increase over the prior year.

State revenues not hit as hard by pandemic as anticipated

State revenues experienced their steepest plunge in 25 years in the final quarter of the fiscal year ending June 30, 2020, according to a recent analysis by Pew. It also notes that while some of those revenues were expected to be recovered, nearly half of all states were still projecting revenue declines this fiscal year. The federal government’s decision to delay the April 15 tax deadline pushed tax payments into the first quarter of the current fiscal year, further straining many state budgets for fiscal year 2020. Gains made before the pandemic coupled with the federal stimulus payments helped states recover somewhat, but Pew found that at least 19 states were forced to pull back on spending and at least 15 tapped into their rainy day funds to balance the fiscal 2020 budgets.

NASBO State Expenditure Report shows increases in spending and revenue collections

The National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO) is reporting that total state spending rose in FY 2018, exceeding $2 trillion for the first time. While spending increased in both FY 2017 (3.8 percent) and 2018 (4.6 percent), it was still below the historical average of 5.6 percent, with the strongest growth in spending reported in the far West and Southeast. All program areas experienced an increase in total state spending, with Medicaid showing the largest percentage increase. Higher education expenditures increased by 3.2 percent in estimated FY 2018, and by 3.1 percent in FY 2017. NASBO reports that the average higher education annual general fund spending growth has been 3.4 percent from fiscal 2013 to fiscal 2018, compared to total general fund spending on all program areas, which has grown by an average annual rate of 3.7 percent over the same period.

Finding causes for states’ tax return shortfalls

Many states took another hit to their budgets in April, with income tax revenue falling 4 percent compared to last year according to a new report from the Rockefeller Institute of Government. By the Numbers takes a look at the declining revenue, which it says was worse for April and May this year than had been forecast, but not as large as some states have experienced in recent years. Several explanations are explored.

Tax Revenues Still Lag Behind Pre-Recession Peak in 26 States

U.S. state tax revenues declined for the first time since the recent economic crisis, according to reports from the Rockefeller Institute of Government and the Pew Charitable Trusts. The small drop in revenues is not being viewed as a sign of another fiscal collapse, but does indicate that the recovery may be slowing. For the 26 states in which revenues still have not returned to 2008 levels, the slowdown may suggest that a full recovery could still be years away.

Surpluses Abound in Many States, but Deficits Projected on the Horizon

An improved fiscal picture emerged for many states in 2013 with several states recently reporting year-end surpluses. Revenue growth and modified tax policies largely contributed to the rebound. Some analysts warn this trend could be short lived, however. State year-end balances are projected to fall by the close of FY14, according to a report from the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), and fiscal analyses from states including Alaska, Connecticut and Illinois, point to large deficits on the horizon.

Cities’ Financial Outlook Improves in 2013

City finance officers were better able to meet financial needs in 2013 than in 2012 and, despite national economic indicators pointing to continued slow growth, improved conditions for city budgets are projected for 2014 and beyond. These are among the findings in the National League of Cities annual survey on city fiscal conditions. Sales and income taxes seem to be a bright spot for cities. In 2012, city sales tax receipts increased over previous year receipts by 6.2 percent, similar to growth levels seen prior to the recession. City finance officers also reported year-over-year growth of 4.4 percent for 2012 in income taxes and are projecting growth of 2.3 percent for 2013. The report's authors warn that city fiscal conditions remain vulnerable to external policy shifts, including cuts in federal spending. Additionally, pension and health care costs continue to be a drag on municipal budgets. Read the report.

Federal Government Transfers By State, 2011

Politics often gets entangled in economic development policy, occasionally around the incendiary argument around who are the “makers” and who are the “takers.” The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) provides data on the amount of government transfers to households including those related to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, income maintenance programs and unemployment insurance. Civic Analytics, based in Texas, composed a data set of these BEA statistics alongside figures on Total Personal Income (TPI) in U.S counties (with the exception of Alaska that does not collect a personal income tax) to inject statistical foundations in the discussion. Read the civic analytics article...

NASBO Recommends Better Budgeting Practices for States

Knowing when to implement budget cuts or reserve measures and how to reduce expenditures while minimizing service disruption are valuable best practices that can be shared as a result of the recession’s impact to state fiscal conditions. These messages are among several recommendations from the National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO) outlined in a new report. Modifying the timing of temporary tax increases is one such example. For many states that enacted tax increases on a temporary basis, the result was continued fiscal stress as the national economy followed a trajectory of slow growth. However, states could better ensure that revenues will recover and budget stability is reached before revenue actions sunset or expire if they were to tie the tax increases to economic conditions or revenue collections rather than the fiscal or calendar year, the report concludes. Examples of state actions are coupled with commentary from budget officers to highlight both the severity of the fiscal crisis across states and the different paths to recovery taken by state leaders. Read the report…

NY Gov Unveils Tax-Free Zones at SUNY Campuses

Businesses on SUNY campuses outside of New York City, and on certain designated private campuses, will be exempt from sales, property and corporate state taxes under a new initiative unveiled this week by New York Gov Andrew Cuomo. In addition, employees of these businesses will be exempt from income taxes. Eligible businesses must have a relationship with the host university related to its academic mission. The state will offer an additional 3 million square free of tax-free commercial space at New York private universities as part of the Tax-Free NY initiative. Read the announcement...


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