Like any business or household, revenues play a critical role for states in determining their levels of spending. Nearly every state is constrained by a balanced budget amendment requiring their general fund expenditures not to exceed revenues (though budget games have allowed them to relax this constraint considerably). When times are tough, many legislators who loathe cutting programs turn to higher taxes as a way to increase revenue. However, as economist Arthur Laffer has shown, higher taxes do not always increase revenue. Minnesota, for example, has been driving high-earners (and their tax dollars) out of the state with its' unfriendly tax climate. Understanding the dynamics of taxation and state revenues is essential for anyone who seeks solutions to state revenue problems; SBS is here to help.

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    • HEADLINES: Connecticut

      State Struggling With Lower Slots, Tobacco Revenues

      Hartford Courant | by Christopher Keating | January 2, 2014

      Too much gambling and too much smoking are not good for anyone.

      Slot machines and cigarettes, however, have been very good for the state of Connecticut.

    • HEADLINES: California

      The State Worker's Top 10: Jerry Brown's budget for state jobs and pay

      The Sacramento Bee | by Jon Ortiz | December 31, 2013

      Budgets declare priorities. So when California's governors issue their initial state revenue and spending projections in January, everyone with a stake in the process immediately looks for where they stand.

    • HEADLINES: California, Delaware, Nevada, New York, Alaska

      Wealthy avoid taxes by moving assets to no-tax states | December 30, 2013

      Wealthy Americans looking to avoid state income taxes are moving billions of dollars in assets to trusts in no-tax states such as Delaware, Nevada and Alaska.

    • HEADLINES: Indiana

      Declining collections eat away at fiscal footing

      The Houston Chronicle | by Tom LoBianco | December 23, 2013

      Indiana's fiscal picture is looking good roughly one year after former Gov. Mitch Daniels left office with about $2 billion in cash reserves and a strong credit rating, but the next few years could leave the state in a fiscal pinch nonetheless.

    • HEADLINES: Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, North Carolina , Oklahoma, Oregon, Wisconsin

      8 States that Cut Income Tax

      Daily Finance | by Dan Caplinger | December 23, 2013

      Several states decided to make tax cuts in 2013, giving their residents a reprieve from higher taxation. Let's find out which ones made the biggest cuts over the past year.

    • HEADLINES: Missouri

      Lawmakers, governor disagree on state revenue estimate

      The Columbia Daily Tribune | by Rudi Keller | December 20, 2013

      A disagreement over the pace of economic growth in Missouri - and how that translates into increased state revenue - means there will be no consensus revenue estimate for the year that begins July 1.

    • HEADLINES: Wisconsin

      Wisconsinís Walker thinking about ending income tax

      The Washington Post | by Reid Wilson | December 20, 2013

      Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker told reporters at a stop earlier this week that some states without personal income taxes are in better economic shape and are better equipped to compete for jobs.

    • HEADLINES: Maryland

      Analysts predict "small" state budget hole

      The Baltimore Sun | by Erin Cox | December 19, 2013

      Maryland state lawmakers will have to address a combined budget gap of $580 million over the next 18 months when they reconvene in January.

    • HEADLINES: Oklahoma

      Doerflinger: State budget to be $171 million less for FY2015

      The Tulsa World | by Barbara Hoberock | December 19, 2013

      Gov. Mary Fallin will have about $171 million less for her budget in the upcoming legislative session, Finance Secretary Preston Doerflinger said Tuesday.

    • HEADLINES: Kentucky

      Beshear: State budget proposal won't rely on tax changes or gambling revenue

      The Lexington Herald-Leader | December 18, 2013

      Gov. Steve Beshear said that he'll present a two-year budget plan to lawmakers next month that will not assume any changes in the state's tax code or the legalization of casino gambling, though he'll push for both of those initiatives.

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      Federal Aid to States Dips Slightly, But Remains High

      State Budget Solutions | by Joe Luppino-Esposito | February 17, 2015

      Money from the federal government still generates over 30% of the general revenue in the majority of states.


      Federal Aid to the States 2008-2011

      by Kristen De Pena | February 21, 2013

      It is well understood that the federal government must make spending cuts-these cuts will most likely drastically change the amount of federal dollars that are allocated to the states. Unfortunately for most states, dependence on federal funding has continually risen since 2008.


      Fiscal Policy Report Card on America's Governors: 2012

      The CATO Institute | by Chris Edwards | October 9, 2012

      This fiscal report card on the governors examines state budget actions since 2010 using statistical data to grade the governors on their taxing and spending records-governors who have cut taxes and spending the most receive the highest grades, while those who have increased taxes and spending the most receive the lowest grades.


      2013 State Business Tax Climate Index

      The Tax Foundation | by Scott Drenkard Joseph Henchman | October 9, 2012

      The Tax Foundation's 2013 edition of the State Business Tax Climate Index enables business leaders, government policymakers, and taxpayers to gauge how their states' tax systems compare. The absence of a major tax is a dominant factor in vaulting many of these ten states to the top of the rankings.


      State Budget Crisis Task Force Report

      State Budget Crisis Task Force | by Richard Ravitch and Paul Volcker | July 17, 2012

      State finances are not transparent and often include hidden liabilities as well as rapidly growing responsibilities which are difficult to control.  While state revenues are gradually recovering from the drastic decline of the Great Recession, they are not growing sufficiently to keep pace with the spending required by Medicaid costs, pensions, and other responsibilities and obligations.  This has resulted in persistent and growing structural deficits in many states which threaten their fiscal sustainability.


      Spring 2012 Fiscal Survey of States

      States will face particularly intense budgetary challenges in education and health care in fiscal 2013, putting pressure on all budget areas - including corrections and infrastructure. As budgets face strain from slow revenue growth and expenditure pressures, states will likely confront tough budgetary choices in the next fiscal year.


      Rich States, Poor States

      ALEC American Legislative Exchange Council | by Arthur B. Laffer, Stephen Moore and Jonathan Williams | April 12, 2012

      This fifth edition of Rich States, Poor States provides 50 unique snapshots from our "laboratories of democracy" for you to evaluate. Study the rankings, read the evidence, and learn about the proven principles that lead to economic growth, job creation, and a higher standard of living for all Americans.


      How Reality-Based Budgeting Can Permanently Resolve State Budget Gaps

      State Budget Solutions | by Bob Williams | November 7, 2012

      State Budget Solutions recommends that state legislators take action in 2013 to resolve the serious state financial crises by changing their focus from inputs to outcomes by redesigning budgets from the ground up based on priorities and performance.

    • SOLUTIONS: New York

      The Case for a Cap

      The Empire Center | December 7, 2011

      This report analyzes the tax cap proposal in light of previous efforts to limit property taxes in New York and other states. Among the findings, New York's local property tax levels are exceptionally high by national standards and have grown by more than double the inflation rate over the past decade, justifying the governor's push to limit future growth.

    • SOLUTIONS: Georgia

      Eight Affordable Ideas for Georgia

      The Georgia Public Policy Foundation | by Eight Affordable Ideas for Georgia | December 2, 2011

      Georgia should continue to push the reforms that have made this one of the best managed states in the nation, but innovation is the best opportunity for true reform. Tax, regulatory and tort reform will create the right conditions for innovation in the private sector while the state pursues innovation in the areas of criminal justice, education and heath care.

    • SOLUTIONS: North Dakota

      Moving Forward

      The North Dakota Policy Council | November 29, 2011

      A guide to needed reforms in pensions, taxes and higher education, among other areas, with  two types of goals that are important when working towards limiting government: long-term policy objectives that show the end-game goals and short-term policies that steer public policy towards the long-term goals. This guide provides both.

    • SOLUTIONS: Nevada

      One Sound State, Once Again

      The Nevada Policy Research Institute | by Geoffrey Lawrence | November 3, 2011

      Nevada seriously needs genuine, revenue-neutral fiscal reforms, and this report seeks to fill that vacuum. It analyzes the actual volatility of Nevada's current taxes - and the taxes lawmakers keep signaling they want. It covers important tax-related issues, such as achieving economic efficiency and tax equity, while reducing compliance costs as well as tax-induced distortions in economic behavior. It advocates implementing priority-based budgeting.

    • SOLUTIONS: Oregon

      How to Turn Oregonís Business Climate Around

      The Cascade Policy Institute | by Steve Buckstein | November 3, 2011

      Article presenting the elimination of the Oregon state income tax and the end forced unionism as solutions to both budget problems and lack of business growth.

    • SOLUTIONS: Nebraska

      Pro-Growth Strategy for Nebraska

      The Platte Institute | by Eric Thompson | September 1, 2011

      This report focuses on limiting the regulatory burden in the state and other types of recommendations to improve growth.

    • SOLUTIONS: Illinois, California, Texas

      Amazonian-Size Taxes

      by Kristen De Pena | July 11, 2011

      Proposals to tax Internet retail sales are all the rage as states continue to look for more ways to balance their budgets in the face of revenue shortfalls.


      Rich States, Poor States 2011

      Bloated state spending levels and trillions of dollars in unfunded government employee pension liabilities pose huge financial obstacles to economic recovery in the 50 states today. This begs the million-or trillion-dollar question: Why are some states prospering while others are still struggling?





    • SOLUTIONS: Texas

      Texasí Fiscal Future

      The Texas Public Policy Foundation | by Arthur B. Laffer | April 1, 2011

      There has been an impression created in the press and embraced by many that the LBB report suggests that adoption of the bill CSHB1 by Texas would cost Texas 272,000 jobs in 2012 and 335,000 jobs in 2013. This answer, at least as interpreted by the press, is wrong and not based on sound economics. The passage of CSHB1 will not cause less jobs in Texas relative to any other option at hand.