The Pew Charitable Trusts illuminates states’ fiscal challenges through research, including comprehensive 50-state assessments. In these assessments, we rate the states on their performance, highlighting effective approaches and creating pressure for reform. Our team uses its expertise to examine key trends in state finances—including revenues, expenditures, and borrowing. We also track and compare state budget policies, including budget stabilization funds and forecasting practices. Our goal is to provide data, analysis, and guidance to help state policymakers manage economic and revenue volatility, improve transparency, and increase fiscal health over the long term.
Research & AnalysisView All
As the nation emerged from the Great Recession, federal dollars made up a bigger proportion of states’ revenue from fiscal year 2009 to 2012 than at any other time in the past 50 years. After peaking at 35.5 percent in fiscal 2010, however, the share fell back within its historical range in fiscal 2013, dropping to 30.0 percent. Read More
States experienced vastly different tax revenue fluctuations over the past two decades, with the greatest year-to-year volatility in Alaska and the least in South Dakota. These swings can confound efforts to balance state budgets. This first-of-its-kind assessment controls for the effect of known state tax law changes to reveal the underlying volatility of each state’s total tax revenue and... Read More
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s appointment of an emergency manager to oversee financially distressed Atlantic City is among numerous state efforts to intervene in troubled communities to help them recover. Read More