State Fiscal Policy Toolkit

Data, analysis, and other resources to guide decision-making

State Fiscal Policy Toolkit

The Pew Charitable Trusts researches the fiscal challenges faced by states and examines the policy options available to address them. The resources listed below, which include comprehensive 50-state assessments, illuminate common concerns and creative solutions to help policymakers understand the issues and learn from one another’s experiences.

Money dust
Money dust
Report

State Strategies for Maintaining a Balanced Budget

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Report

Many states ended 2017 flush with unexpected cash. Federal legislation that caps some tax deductions beginning in 2018 prompted many Americans to prepay their state and local taxes. While this surprise revenue was positive news for state budgets, several policymakers struck a cautious tone.

Funding Gap 2016
Funding Gap 2016
Issue Brief

The State Pension Funding Gap: 2016

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Issue Brief

Many state retirement systems are on an unsustainable course, coming up short on their investment targets and having failed to set aside enough money to fund the pension promises made to public employees. Even as contributions from taxpayers over the past decade doubled as a share of state revenue, the total still fell short of what is needed to improve the funding situation.

Targeted Evaluation
Targeted Evaluation
Issue Brief

Targeted Evaluations Can Help Policymakers Set Priorities

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Issue Brief

State and local leaders allocate millions of dollars each year to programs designed to deliver services to their constituents, but often the results go unmeasured. Without data on the effect, if any, that programs are having on participants and communities, policymakers are unable to discern which ones work, which don’t, and how best to distribute limited public resources.

Construction site
Construction site
Report

Strategies for Managing State Debt

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Report

As state budgets recover from the effects of the Great Recession of 2007-09, lawmakers are looking for ways to prepare for the next downturn. At the same time, states are increasingly interested in taking advantage of low interest rates to borrow money for key infrastructure projects that may have been put on hold during the recession

Additional Resources

Economic Development Tax Incentives
Economic Development Incentives: How to Measure Results
3min 13sec
Umbrella
Video: Rainy Day Funds
2min 26sec
Map
Map
Data Visualization

Fiscal 50: State Trends and Analysis

Sort and chart data about key fiscal and economic trends in the 50 states, and read Pew's insights.

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Data Visualization

Fiscal 50: State Trends and Analysis, an interactive resource from The Pew Charitable Trusts, allows you to sort and analyze data on key fiscal, economic, and demographic trends in the 50 states and understand their impact on states’ fiscal health.

Results First
Evidence-Based Policymaking Made Easy by 'Results First' Tool
3min 13sec