Fiscal Survey of States

With data gathered from all 50 state budget offices, this semi-annual report provides a narrative analysis of the fiscal condition of the states and data summaries of state general fund revenues, expenditures, and balances. The spring edition details governors’ proposed budgets; the fall edition details enacted budgets.

Fall 2023 Fiscal Survey of States



Staff Contact

Kathryn White

Overview - Fall 2023

This edition of the report contains data for all 50 states, three territories, and the District of Columbia on general fund spending, revenue, ending balances, and rainy day funds for fiscal 2022 (actual), fiscal 2023 (preliminary actual), and fiscal 2024 (enacted). Information on enacted changes to taxes and fees and employment compensation for fiscal 2024 is also included.

Highlights of the Fall 2023 Fiscal Survey include:

General Fund Spending

  • Enacted budgets for fiscal 2024 call for general fund spending of $1.26 trillion, a 6.5 percent increase over fiscal 2023.
  • General fund spending grew 11.8 percent in fiscal 2023, following an annual increase of 16.0 percent in fiscal 2022 – the highest growth rate recorded in the Fall Fiscal Survey in more than 40 years. Adjusted for inflation, spending grew 8.0 percent in fiscal 2022 and 7.0 percent in fiscal 2023.
  • 21 states reported net mid-year spending increases in fiscal 2023, including one-time expenditures from surplus funds. Nine states reported net mid-year cuts; only one of the nine states attributed the cuts to a revenue shortfall.

General Fund Revenue

  • General fund revenue in the aggregate increased 0.9 percent in fiscal 2023 from the high baseline established in fiscal 2022 and is projected to decline 1.8 percent in fiscal 2024 enacted budget forecasts.
  • 46 states reported fiscal 2023 general fund revenue collections exceeded original estimates used in enacted budgets for fiscal 2023; preliminary actual collections for fiscal 2023 were up 7.7 percent compared to original estimates.
  • States enacted net tax reductions in fiscal 2024 with a general fund revenue impact of ‑$13.3 billion (1.1 percent as a percentage of forecasted revenue for fiscal 2024); roughly 40 percent of this total impact (‑$5.4 billion) is attributable to one-time/temporary tax cuts.

State Balances

  • 41 states reported year-over-year increases in the size of their rainy day fund balances in fiscal 2023, measured in nominal dollars. The median rainy day fund balance as a percentage of spending increased from 10.8 percent in fiscal 2022 to 12.3 percent in fiscal 2023, and is estimated to reach 13.8 percent based on enacted budgets for fiscal 2024.
  • Total balances (rainy day funds + general fund ending balances) by the end of fiscal 2022 represented 37.9 percent as a percentage of total general fund expenditures and were more than 3.5 times their aggregate level at the end of fiscal 2020 in nominal dollars. After most states maintained or increased their total balance levels in fiscal 2023, balances are projected to decline to 23.2 percent as a percentage of general fund spending in fiscal 2024 as states plan to spend down some of their prior-year surplus funds.