Robert Zahradnik is policy director for Pew’s work on state fiscal health and economic growth. He supervises initiatives that help states improve the return on investment from economic development tax incentives and better manage revenue projections and volatility.
Zahradnik oversees research on tax incentive evaluation and long-term budgeting practices, and directs technical assistance provided to state leaders including data analysis, policy development, and outreach to key stakeholders and the public. He has presented to state legislators and a wide range of professional and academic associations.
Before joining Pew in 2010, Zahradnik worked for the chief financial officer of the District of Columbia as a manager in the Office of Budget and Planning and then as director of research in the Office of Revenue Analysis. In the latter position, he managed a research agenda that covered tax, budget, and economic policies and practices. He was also a senior policy analyst with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in Washington, DC.
Zahradnik holds a bachelor of arts degree in communications from Penn State University and a master’s of public administration from George Washington University.
Recent WorkView All
Most states struggle with decisions on when to save, when to use those savings, and how much to save in order to have a cushion against the impact of a revenue downturn. That’s because while 47 states have rainy day funds—reserve accounts to stabilize their budgets during difficult times—many lack policies that encourage savings when revenue growth is high and establish clear... Read More
Many states struggle with when and how to make withdrawals from their rainy day funds, a situation that can lead to poorly timed use of these reserve accounts, according to a report by The Pew Charitable Trusts. Read More
When the Great Recession hit in 2008, it put enormous pressure on state budgets. Tax revenue dropped precipitously and mandatory costs—particularly for health and human services—rose. Delaware, for example, entered fiscal year 2010 facing a $750 million budget shortfall because of declining revenue from personal and corporate income taxes. Read More