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.

  • Breaking News
  • Research
  • Solutions
  • Commentary
    • HEADLINES: Iowa

      Iowa revenue grew 14 percent in 2011 fiscal year

      The Des Moines Register | by Jason Clayworth | September 3, 2013

      Here's something for Iowans to chew on as they pay their latest round of property taxes: state and local government revenue jumped by more than $3.4 billion in the latest fiscal year tracked by federal officials.

    • HEADLINES: Mississippi

      Extra investment in revenue agency paying off for state | by Bobby Harrison | September 3, 2013

      In Mississippi, the Department of Revenue collected eight times more in additional delinquent taxes than it promised during the past fiscal year in return for the Legislature providing $3.5 million to hire extra staff.

    • HEADLINES: Missouri, Texas

      Mo., Texas governors spar over income tax cut

      The Southeast Missourian | by Jim Salter | August 30, 2013

      Texas Gov. Rick Perry warned Thursday that unless Missouri lawmakers override Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of an income-tax cut, he won't be the only governor trying to lure business away from Missouri.

    • HEADLINES: Connecticut

      GOP leader: Is Keno coming or was it a mirage to balance the state budget?

      The Connecticut Mirror | by Keith M. Phaneuf | August 23, 2013

      House Minority Leader Lawrence F. Cafero said Keno - which six out of 10 voters opposed in a June poll - was a last-minute option used to strike a deal on a new state budget just before the last legislative session ended.

    • HEADLINES: New Mexico

      NM revenues projected to grow by $296M next year

      Businessweek | by Barry Massey | August 22, 2013

      Economic growth in New Mexico should provide $296 million in new revenue next year, potentially allowing a 5 percent spending increase on public education and other government programs, according to a financial forecast.

    • HEADLINES: Florida, Minnesota

      The Die Harder States

      The Wall Street Journal | August 21, 2013

      Minnesota, which this year enacted a new 10% gift tax with a $1 million exemption. A gift tax is a levy on money given away while still alive. This tax is in addition to Minnesota's 16% estate tax.


      Up In Flames: Cigarette Taxes Create Opportunity For Revenue And Crime

      Forbes | by Kelly Phillips Erb | August 21, 2013

      If you buy your cigarettes in North Carolina, the state will tack on a mere 45 cents in tax per pack; that's a little more than a dime cheaper than in neighboring South Carolina. A pack of cigarettes will be slapped with a state tax of $2.70 in New Jersey and a whopping $4.35 in New York.

    • HEADLINES: Arizona

      Arizona lawmakers to tackle income tax overhaul

      Businessweek | by Bob Christie | August 21, 2013

      Arizona lawmakers slashed the state's corporate tax rate in 2011, sliced other business and capital gains taxes in 2012 and just completed a major overhaul of the state's sales tax collection system.


      Expedia to Priceline Targeted as States Cry for Revenue: Taxes

      Bloomberg | by Tom Gilroy | August 19, 2013

      The National Conference of State Legislatures is calling on states to consider rules that would require online travel companies to pay hotel occupancy taxes on the full rental price paid by customers, and not simply the wholesale rate they have negotiated with hotels.

    • HEADLINES: Kentucky

      State projects meager General Fund income growth | by Roger Alford | August 16, 2013

      Kentucky will likely see only meager revenue growth over the next two years in the General Fund and a slight decline in the Road Fund next year, largely because of the state's slow rebound from recession.

    • Previous   11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  23  24  25  26  27  28  29  30  31   Next


      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.