Budget Blog

  • Early indications are that most states continued the recent trend of strong growth in tax collections in April, led by gains in personal income taxes. States saw growth in payroll withholding, estimated and final tax payments in April. The gains are likely due to several factors including employment growth, salary increases, and strong stock market performance in 2021. Similarly, most states also reported increases in corporate income taxes due to higher corporate profits. Part of the year-over-year increase in income taxes is due to 2021’s tax deadline being pushed back to May, which led to less April tax collections ... More

  • Introduction Before the COVID-19 crisis, state rainy day funds and total balances were at an all-time high, after a decade of rebuilding reserves following the Great Recession. In spring 2020, when the pandemic first hit, this financial cushion softened the immediate blow for states facing revenue shortfalls and helped them to close budget deficits by the end of the fiscal year – something most states are required by law to do.  At the same time, as state revenue projections were plummeting further, concerns grew that states might end up depleting the rainy day funds they had worked so hard to build in recent years. ... More

  • One area of state budget processes that has received a lot of attention in recent years, including during the COVID-19 pandemic and recession, is state rainy day funds. In the 2021 edition of Budget Processes in the States , all 50 states reported having at least one rainy day fund for the first time in history. In the years following the Great Recession, a number of states made deliberate choices to strengthen their reserves by increasing deposits and reforming the laws and policies that govern these funds. This blog looks at recent process changes states made to bolster their rainy day funds before the pandemic, ... More

  • The  Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds , authorized by the  American Rescue Plan Act of 2021  (ARPA), allocated $195.3 billion for states and the District of Columbia and $4.5 billion for territories. In addition to Fiscal Recovery Funds, ARPA also sent other funds to states for a variety of purposes, including K-12 education, rental assistance, child care, capital projects and more. Planning, administering, and reporting on these significant additional federal resources will require a great deal of statewide leadership, coordination and oversight. On October 18, NASBO released an issue brief describing ... More

  • Today, NASBO released a new issue brief examining states’ processes for allocating Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Funds, authorized by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 , and planned uses of these funds. This analysis is based strictly on what states and territories reported to the U.S. Treasury Department in their Recovery Plan Performance Reports, which were due on August 31, 2021. To date, NASBO has compiled links to recovery plan performance reports for 39 states, the District of Columbia, and two territories. The brief presents a high-level look at how states are making decisions about the use ... More

  • Most states saw revenue growth in fiscal 2021 primarily resulting from a strengthening national economy and federal stimulus programs. The revenue gains in fiscal 2021 were in contrast to fiscal 2020, when states saw revenues decline after nine consecutive years of growth. Overall, revenues have outperformed projections from earlier in the pandemic (when most states enacted their fiscal 2021 budgets). Several factors help explain recent improvements in states’ revenue outlooks, including: federal stimulus measures have put a lot of additional money into the economy, which helped to lessen state revenue losses; high-income ... More

  • As of July 19, 47 states have enacted a full-year budget for fiscal 2022. States have been enacting fiscal 2022 budgets during a time when fiscal conditions continue to strengthen as the economy recovers from the pandemic and additional federal aid flows to state and local governments. As noted in NASBO’s Spring 2021 Fiscal Survey of States , 40 out of 50 states saw revenue declines compared to pre-pandemic projections over the two-year period from fiscal 2020 to fiscal 2021. However, most states’ enacted fiscal 2022 budgets include an increase in both state spending and revenue. Forty-six states began their fiscal ... More

  • The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021 was signed into law by President Biden on March 11. The bill includes $350 billion in emergency funding for state, local, territorial, and Tribal governments. These State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds are to remain available until December 31, 2024. The legislation details certain eligible use of the funds including responding to the public health emergency or its negative economic impacts, providing premium pay for essential front-line workers, replacing revenue losses due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, and necessary investments in water, sewer, or broadband ... More