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.

How states raise their tax dollars
How states raise their tax dollars
Data Visualization

How States Raise Their Tax Dollars, FY 2021

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Data Visualization

Taxes make up about half of state government revenue, with two-thirds of states’ total tax dollars coming from levies on personal income (39.8%) and general sales of goods and services (29.2%).

bridge
bridge
Issue Brief

State Pension Plans Have Stabilized in Wake of Pandemic

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Issue Brief

The nation’s state retirement systems finished the 2021 fiscal year in their best condition since the Great Recession of 2007-09. According to projections by The Pew Charitable Trusts, the gap between the cost of pension benefits that states have promised their workers and what they have set aside to pay for them dropped in 2021 to its lowest level in more than a decade. Pew estimates that state retirement systems are now over 80% funded for the first time since 2008.

hands with signs
Plan signs
Issue Brief

How States Can Manage Midyear Budget Gaps

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Issue Brief

State governments generally adopt budgets that lawmakers believe are balanced, with sufficient revenue to pay for expenses. But because states typically enact their budgets before the start of a fiscal year, policymakers must rely on forecasts of how much revenue the state will collect and how much it will spend.

Silhouette of person behind bars
Silhouette of person behind bars
Opinion

Rising Jail Stays Come at a Cost to Public Health, Local Budgets

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Opinion

As recently as early February, roughly 1 in 5 individuals held in some jails—as well as many staff—were testing positive for COVID-19. The surging rate of infection, due largely to the omicron variant, drove home the reality that jails—used primarily to incarcerate people awaiting trial, and where people are indoors often in close quarters—can be vectors for disease, particularly as staff or people being rearrested move between facilities and the community.

Additional Resources

fiscal 50
Data Visualization

Fiscal 50

Explore fiscal and economic trends in the 50 states, then learn their significance with our expert analysis.

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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.

Evidence-based policymaking
Evidence-based policymaking

Evidence-Based Policymaking Resource Center

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Evidence-Based Policymaking Resource Center

In 2014, the Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative developed a framework for state and county leaders interested in evidence-based policymaking. This framework consists of five key components to help governments use rigorous evidence and data to guide policy and funding decisions.

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