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
At the National Governors Association’s Summer Meeting this week in West Virginia, leaders from around the country will collaborate across party lines to develop best practices that improve state government. Important lessons can be learned from governors who enacted policies this year to strengthen their states’ long-term fiscal and economic health. These initiatives reflect a... Read More
Nationally, total state tax revenue continued its recovery from the Great Recession, ending 2014 at its highest level ever. But the state-by-state picture is far more mixed. Adjusted for inflation, tax receipts in 27 states had not fully rebounded by the fourth quarter of 2014. Read More
States experienced vastly different fluctuations in tax revenue over the past two decades, with the greatest year-to-year volatility occurring in Alaska and the least in South Dakota. These swings can confound efforts to balance state budgets. This analysis removes the ups or downs caused by tax policy changes to reveal the underlying volatility of each state’s total tax revenue and major... Read More